Updated: September 4, 2021 10:04:04 pm
Manu Gandas of Gurugram maintained his overnight five-shot lead with a three-under 64 on the penultimate and third round of the Golconda Masters Telangana Open at the Hyderabad Golf Association (HGA) course on Saturday.
Manu, eyeing maiden pro title, totalled 20-under 186 (64-58-64) but had a mixed third day with an eagle, three birdies and two bogeys.
Chikkarangappa of Bengaluru shot a six-under 61 to rise three spots to tied second place at 15-under 191 (67-63-61) with Yuvraj Singh Sandhu (67-62-62) of Chandigarh and Amardeep Malik (66-61-64) of Noida.
Like on the second round which reduced to 68, third day too was hit by overnight rains and hole No. 3 a par-4 was reduced to par-3, hole No. 6 a par-5 turned a par-3 and hole No. 18 was a par-4 was shorted to par 3 making third round to 67 instead of the 71.
Leader for the third successive day, Manu, 25, lying at eighth place in the PGTI Order of Merit with five top-10s, missed several short birdie putts and also bogeyed the seventh after finding the water hazard. His only bright spot on the front-nine was the up and down from the bunker for par on the sixth.
On the back-nine, he birdied the 10th, 11th and 14th with brilliant tee shots and on the par-4 15th the golfer from the DLF Golf & Country Club drove the green and converted a seven-footer for an eagle.
Despite finding water hazard on the 17th, Manu managed to maintain his five-shot lead.
“It was a decent round but not up to my expectations as I missed a lot of short birdie putts. However, today’s three-under (64) is a handy score and would mean less pressure on me in the final round on the morrow,” Manu said.
The 2019 champion Chikka who had an eagle, five birdies and a bogey and finished six-under is expected to challenge Manu on the final day.
However, the highlight of the day came from Mohmmed Azhar of the Vooty Golf County, Hyderabad when he struck a hole-in-one on the seventh hole during his third round of two-under 65. He too was placed tied 14th at 199. Azhar has also made a hole-in-one in PGTI’s last event in March.
PGTI Order of Merit leader Karandeep Kochhar (63) of Chandigarh was in tied fifth place at 12-under 194 along with Patna’s Aman Raj (62) and Kolkata’s Viraj Madappa (62). Chandigarh’s Harendra Gupta, the winner of the inaugural edition in 2015, was tied 29th at three-under 203. Panchkula’s Angad Cheema who had an error-free shot the day’s lowest score of seven-under 60 that lifted him 31 spots to tied 14th at seven-under 199.
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