For a better part of the third round, Jyoti Randhawa seemed out of form, before recovering with two birdies in last four holes for a round of 74 in the Resorts World Manila Masters.
That saw Randhawa, the leader for first two days slip to Tied-third, where he had fellow Indian, SSP Chawrasia (71) for company at 13-under.
The lead switched to Thailand’s Sutijet Kooratanapisan as he carded a three-under-par 69. Sutijet overcame a two-shot deficit at the start of the day to take his place atop the leaderboard with his three-day total of 16-under-par 200 at the Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club.
The 17-year-old teen sensation Phachara Khongwatmai of Thailand showed his mettle once again by making his move with a 69 to take second place.
A shot behind Chawrasia and Randhawa was Gaganjeet Bhullar (69) moved to seventh at 12-under, while S Chikkrangappa (70) was at 11-under in Tied-12th place. Shiv Kapur (68) and Chiragh Kumar (69) also made handsome gains and were Tied-17th at 10-under, as six Indians were placed insideTop-20.
Shubhankar Sharma (69) was Tied-35th and Jeev Milkha Singh (74th was Tied-62nd.
Chawrasia withstood the challenging windy conditions by mixing his card with three bogeys and four birdies to put himself in the mix for his first win abroad.
“I didn’t hit and putt the ball as well as compared to the last two days. The winds picked up in the afternoon which made play really challenging. There’s still another day left at this event and I’m looking forward to finishing off the week well.”
With all his four Asian Tour victories coming from home soil, the 38-year-old is eager to clinch his first title overseas, having put himself into a good position where he is just three shots back of Sutijet.
“I want to win outside India and that’s my next goal. That’s my focus and I’ll try my best,” said Chawrasia. Sutijet plans to adopt an all-out attack in his quest for his first Asian Tour title, having come so close to a win in Bangladesh at the start of the year.
“My plan tomorrow is to attack the fairways and greens. I’ll be aggressive. I don’t want to think too much as that will give me added pressure. I’ve to stay patient and stick to my game plan,” said Sutijet.
Randhawa who was bogey free for 36 holes on first two days dropped a double bogey on second and had bogeys on ninth and 12th. The birdies on 15th and 18th gave him some relief but there is some way still to go.
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