Sharma fires 65 to jump into lead

Sharma fires 65 to jump into lead

Sharma fires 65 to jump into lead

Shubhankar Sharma's whirlwind eight-under-64, the day's best, took him into a three-shot lead in round three of the PGTI Players Championship here at the Eagleton Golf Resort on Thursday.

The Gurgaon pro now sits atop the leaderboard at 17-under-199 while Sri Lankan Anura Rohana leads the chasing pack at 14-under-202.

Teenager Sharma (65-70-64) set up a launch pad for the pursuit of his second title by embellishing his penultimate round with an eagle and seven birdies against a lone bogey. The 19-year-old, lying three off the lead in fifth place after round three, started hitting the right notes from the fifth hole onwards on a day that witnessed gusty conditions once again.

The Asian Tour rookie breezed to four-under for the day through 10 holes, courtesy three conversions from 10 to 20 feet. Sharma, who suffered a playoff loss to local favourite S Chikkarangappa in his last tournament at Eagleton just over three months back, dropped his only bogey on the 14th after a three-putt.

Shubhankar then had an inspiring run, an eagle followed by three birdies, on the last four holes. He had two 12-feet conversions on the final stretch and also drove the green on the 17th where his eagle putt lipped out.

Rohana (68-68-66), who was overnight tied sixth, fired a spectacular 66 to position himself as the prime challenger to Shubhankar in the final round. His card featured seven birdies and a bogey and included three conversions from 10 to 15 feet.

Chandigarh’s Sujjan Singh slipped from second to tied third at 13-under-203 as a result of his third round of 70. Sujjan was contending for the lead having been three-under for the day through 12 holes. However, his drive on the 13th hit a tree and fell into the hazard, thereby pegging him back with a double-bogey.

 Mukesh Kumar (64-68-71) of Mhow, the leader in the first two rounds, was relegated to tied third along with Sujjan as he carded a 71 on day three. He made two birdies and a bogey.

Five players including Bengaluru’s Chikkarangappa and Udayan Mane and Mysuru’s Harish K were bunched together in tied ninth at eight-under-208.

Top scores (after 54 holes): 199: Shubhankar Sharma (65, 70, 64); 202: Anura Rohana (68, 68, 66); 203: Sujjan Singh (68, 65, 70), Mukesh Kumar (64, 68, 71); 205: Khalin Joshi (71, 68, 66), Vikrant Chopra (73, 64, 68), Kapil Kumar (67, 67, 71).