Exciting finish on cards

Golf Southern India Amateur: Joshi takes 2-shot lead as Chikka slips to second spot

In a near flawless performance in the opening 11 holes, Joshi struggled a bit with his short game thereafter but still carded a respectable two-under 70 to pilot himself to a two-shot lead at the end of the third round at his home turf Karnataka Golf Association.

Order of Merit leader C Chikkarangappa, completely undone by his putting for the second day in succession, disappointed with a 74 to slip down to second spot at 219 while Kanishk Madan impressed with a level-par card to climb to third place, totalling 221.
Local lad Trishul Chinnappa too sparkled, blasting the day’s best card of four-under 68 to rise to tied ninth at 226.

With just a gentle breeze blowing on a largely overcast day that made conditions ideal for scoring, the 18-year-old Joshi seemed determined to cash in on every bit of opportunity that came his way.

He was superb with his driving for better of the day, coming a cropper with his putting only on two holes -- 12th and 18th. Trailing Chikkarangappa by two shots overnight, Joshi quickly cut down the lead to one with a neat nine-foot birdie three on the second hole.

Not the one to buckle down, Eagleton Golf Resort’s Chikk-arangappa quickly restored the two-shot cushion after firing a 12-foot birdie on the par-4 third hole, an efort that was appreciated by 1983 World Cup-winning hero Roger Binny.

Going steady, Chikkaran-gappa’s game began to fall apart from the eighth hole while Joshi sparkled momentarily.  Chikkarangappa hit the water with his tee shot on the par-3 eighth where he double-bogeyed before dropping a shot on the par-5 ninth when his second shot got stuck right behind a tree.

Even as Chikkarangappa got increasingly error-prone, Joshi drained a fine curling 15-foot birdie on the eighth to take the lead for the first time in the tournament before extending it by three shots with a birdie on the ninth.

Joshi picked up another shot on the 11th but dropped one on the 12th, three-putting from 20 feet. Chikkarangappa, completely under pressure, dropped a shot on the par-three 13th, birdied the 14th and parred the remaining holes while Joshi bogeyed the closing 18th that minimised his advantage to just two shots.

Leading scores (after 54 holes): 217: Khalin Joshi (75, 72, 70); 219: S Chikkarangappa (70, 75, 74); 221: Kanishk Madan (74, 75, 72); 222: Abhijit Singh Chandha (76, 73, 73), Rahul Ravi (75, 72, 75); 223: R Marimuthu (75, 76, 72); 224: Angad Cheema (75, 74, 75); 225: Siddharth Semwal (76, 76, 73); 226: Trishul Chinnappa (79, 79, 68), Rahul Bajaj (75, 76, 75), CG Somaiah (74, 76, 76); 227: Simarjeet Singh (74, 78, 75).

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