Shiv Kapur, who is yet to triumph at his home course – the Delhi Golf Club -, grabbed a share of the lead at the Panasonic Open, closing the day with a stunning 25-footer for an eagle.
Minutes before he holed that massive putt, American Paul Peterson (70) chipped in from the edge on the 18th to move from 11-under to 13-under, where he was joined by Kapur (69).
The last time that Kapur held a share of the lead going into the final day of a tournament at his home club at the DGC was at the 2010 SAIL Open. He, however, finished second to Swede Rikard Karlberg, and is still searching for his first pro win at the DGC.
Having started the day with an opening bogey-six, it was a testing day for Kapur as he had to dig deep into his reserves to grind out a three-under-par 69 to remain on course for his first win on his home course at the Delhi Golf Club.
Peterson started his round with an eagle but fell off the leaderboard momentarily after bogeys on holes two, four and nine. A birdie on 14 before a closing chip-in eagle on 18 lifted the American back to the top with his three-day total of 13-under-par 203.
Another DGC man Shamim Khan, who is currently leading the PGTI Order of Merit signed for a 69 to take third place.
Tied at fourth was seasoned SSP Chawrasia with four birdies, three of them in last seven holes. He had for company Om Prakash Chouhan (66), the Mhow-based former protégé of legendary Mukesh Kumar, and Sudhir Sharma (66).
Chouhan’s card included two chip-in birdies on 7th and 11th and Sudhir had eight birdies and two bogeys and are at 11-under.
With just two shots separating the top six players, the stage is set for a gripping finish.
Thaworn Wiratchant (68) lurks at 10-under, while five players, including five Indians Aman Raj (69), Karandeep Kochar (69), Honey Baisoya (71) and Divyanshu Bajaj (72) are at 8-under.
Kapur admitted he struggled for good part of the day and did not have his ‘A’ game in place. He opened with a bogey on Par-5 first and then barely managed to save a par on 10th. Then on 11th, he erred again and made a double.
“Suddenly, that 11-under became 13-under and it looked a whole lot different. My hitting was not good at all, and it was my short game that has been very sharp and it saved me. But I am proud of the way I hung and showed a lot of grit to save pars and that eagle was a great way to end the day,” Kapur said.
Peterson began the day with an eagle and ended it similarly, but with a chip-in from the edge. In between he bogeyed three times on front nine and looked out of sorts at times as he dropped shots on the second, fourth and ninth. Then came the eagle and he let out his pent-up frustration with a yell and fist pump.
Shamim Khan said, “It was definitely not my best round of the week but those two birdies, when I converted two long putts from 12 feet and 25 feet on 16th and 17th, kept me in the hunt.”