Perera takes big stride

Perera takes big stride

 India’s Rashid Khan and Mithun Perera of Sri Lanka were the joint leaders after they were left stranded on the seventh and eighth holes respectively as an inclement weather suspended the third day’s play in the $300,000 SAIL-SBI Open here on Friday.

Rashid, who led by four shots overnight, dropped a bogey at the fifth hole to slip, but Perera fired three birdies on the first, second and sixth holes to card three-under and 13-under for the tournament when officials abandoned play at the Delhi Golf Club due to heavy rain.

Siddikur was two-under after seven holes to stay just one stroke behind the leaders, while two-time defending champion Anirban Lahiri, too, kept his hopes alive after blasting four birdies in eight holes to be four-under.

Lahiri, however, is poised to bogey the ninth hole after he missed a short par putt before the siren went off. He will fall two strokes off the pace.

Heavens opened up in the afternoon leaving the golfers scurrying for cover and play was suspended at 1.22pm before officials eventually called off the round at 3pm.
Rashid will have to play 28 holes on Saturday but the 23-year-old is not complaining.
“I think the rain came at the right time. I was one over and the day wasn’t going the way I wanted to. A lot of holes to play tomorrow. I’m hoping for a good day,” Rashid, who won the PGTI Order of Merit last year, said.

“It’s going to be a big day tomorrow. I’ll have 28 holes to play. We’ll see what happens. Today, I started really bad and didn’t make any birdies. I will need to start with a birdie in the morning, need a good round going,” he added.

Lahiri was flawless on Friday as he picked up strokes on the first, third, fifth and eighth holes and the Bangalore golfer hoped to turn the heat on Rashid and Perera.

“I don’t think it’ll be a big deal for Rashid and Mithun. Rashid has won prolifically in India and this is his home course. I don’t think he’ll be nervous,” said Lahiri.

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