SSP locked in three-way lead

Golf Indian Open : Defending champ cards fine 71 in unfinished third round

SSP locked in three-way lead

 SSP Chawrasia was locked in a three-way lead at six-under with Spaniard Carlos Pigem and Englishman Eddie Pepperell after 11 holes of round three at the Hero Indian Open on Saturday.

Among the three, Pigem has a chance of moving ahead when the play resumes on Sunday. He is poised for a birdie on the 12th.

Malaysian Galvin Green (72, 73) with a sensational six-under from his 17 holes in the third round, that included six birdies on trot from the fifth to 10th hole, and eight overall, was among the leaders in the afternoon. However, he dropped a shot in the 16th and though he instantly made a gain to be placed second with a five-under.

Irishman Michael Hoey (71, 71) and England’s David Horsey (66, 74) were tied third after playing 12 and 11 holes with a total of four-under.

With weather disrupting the play on first two days, 66 players were forced to return early in the morning to finish their second round. The third round could only be on its way by one in the afternoon, leaving 42 out of the 69 players with unfinished third rounds. 

With the cut set for six over, 15 (14 professionals and one amateur) out of the 41 Indians qualified for the final stage. Anirban Lahiri with three-under from his 16 holes in third round, was the next best Indian at two-over. Shubhankar Sharma and Chiragh Kumar posted third round scores of 71 each for a total of three-over.

Chawrasia, who had jumped to the sole lead with a brilliant second round 67 on Friday, had to share his space with Malaysia’s Danny Chia and Eddie Pepperell of England once the two finished their rounds in the morning. Chia, however, with three birdies, two double bogeys and a bogey had slumped to tied 12th after 11 holes.

The 38-year-old Indian began with a bogey on the second hole to temporarily drop out of the leading pack. However, by picking shots on the third and ninth hole, he finished the day on top of the leaderboard.

“I stuck to the same game plan that I have had for the first two rounds.
I am happy that I managed to do that, despite the bogey I dropped,” Chawrasia said.

Pigem, with four birdies and a bogey on front nine, had picked another shot on the 11th hole.

“The greens are like something you would find at Disneyland. I'm really excited. It was a shame not to finish today because I was playing really good.”

The prominent to miss the cut included Shiv Kapur (151), Rahil Gangjee (156), former champions C Muniyappa (169), Feroz Ali Mollah (157) and Jeev Milkha Singh (169).

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