Samarth extends lead

Pace-setter Samarth Dwivedi primed himself to clinch the Tata Steel Southern India Amateur Golf Championship after extending his lead to a whopping seven shots following the penultimate round here on Thursday.

The Uttar Pradesh golfer, who is based in Thailand currently, didn’t necessarily set the Karnataka Golf Association on fire like he had done over the last two days but his steady two-under 70 put him in the driver’s seat to wrap up a thumping victory.

Viraj Madappa shot level-par 72 to lie a distant second along with Pratal Atwal (74) at 214 while Udayan Mane (68) and Pukhraj Singh Gill shared the fourth spot at 215.

Samarth began with a massive drive on the 324-yard par-4 opening hole, reaching the green with his tee shot before calmly rolling in the eagle putt. He followed that up with a birdie on the second to go ten-under for the week after 38 holes.

He, however, dropped shots on the next two holes before salvaging a birdie on the eighth. He chipped in for another eagle on the par-5 11th hole but went bogey-bogey on the 14th and 15th holes to finish at 207.

Leading scores (after 54 holes): 207: Samarth Dwivedi (68, 69, 70); 214: Viraj Madappa (69, 73, 72), Pratap Atwal (70, 70, 74); 215: Udayan Mane (75, 72, 68), Pukhraj Singh Gill (73, 69, 73); 220: Aalaap IL (72, 78, 70), Jaibir Singh (74, 74, 72), Aman Raj (78, 69, 73).

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