Rampaging Ashok takes massive 8-stroke lead

Ashok was a pillar of consistency as he fired seven birdies and an eagle against a couple of bogeys to total 16-under 200 at the DLF Golf and Country Club.

Defending champion Bhullar had an erratic round, hitting four birdies against a couple of bogeys and a double bogey to slip one place to the second spot.

Breathing down his neck by one stroke was Anirban Lahiri (209) with a two-under 70 while Bangalore’s C Muniyappa and Ajeetesh Sandhu were tied fourth at six-under 210.

Two-time winner Jyoti Radhawa and Himmat Singh Rai dropped down the leaderboard after carding rounds of 73 and 74 to share the sixth spot with four others.

With rain staying away and sun shining brightly, Ashok made best use of the conditions after picking up four birdies in a blemish-free front nine to take the turn at four-under.

He added another birdie at the 10th but came unstuck at the 12th with a bogey. He picked up two more strokes at the 13th and 16th before stumbling to a bogey in the 17th.

But the Bihar golfer ended the day on a high with a 20-footer eagle on the last hole. Among others, Shamim Khan (69), Mukesh Kumar (74), Rahil Gangjee (73) and SSP Chowrasia (75) at tied 11th and 13th, 24th and 30th respectively.

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