Khalin bounces back in style

Khalin bounces back in style

Fine Rally: India’s Khalin Joshi in action on the third day of the Take Solutions Masters Golf tournament at the KGA course on Saturday. DH Photo/ Srikanta Sharma R

A fast-changing leaderboard, a hole-in-one and some fantastic golf were all on view as the third round of the TAKE Solutions Masters came to close on Saturday.

Bengaluru’s weather continued to be kind on the golfers with a slight drizzle enveloping the Karnataka Golf Association. Enjoying the conditions, home favourite Khalin Joshi impressed the sizeable group of supporters shooting a smashing seven-under (200) to stay one shot off Argentina’s Miguel Carballo (199), setting up a thrilling final day.

Overnight leader Danthai Boonma (200) endured a horrid outing carding two-over for the day but a birdie on the 18th kept him tied-second along with Khalin.

It was a relatively quiet start for Khalin but he kicked-off a fine run of four birdies from the ninth and gave himself plenty to celebrate about on his 26th birthday after a blemish-free outing.

“It feels great. I played really well today. What’s more important is that I played bogey-free. That was my key, if I could go bogey-free all week, would be great. But let’s not be greedy and I’m happy with the way I played. I think I’m in a good position for tomorrow, so I’m really excited.

“My dad walked with me the last three days and he’ll be walking with me tomorrow as well. Obviously, it is good playing at home in front of the home crowd,” added Khalin, who had the crowd in raptures with a 20-foot putt on the 15th.

Carballo’s round wasn’t as dazzling as Khalin’s but with a solid four-under, he will hold the slightest of edges come the big day on Sunday.

“I played good again today. I am very happy. It was pretty difficult out there with the winds, especially playing in the last group so it was nice to card a good score. I hit my tee shots very good this week. I putted well today too. I will keep things the same tomorrow. The most important will be concentration. My game is solid right now so we’ll see what happens,” said the former PGA Tour player.

The highlight of the day came from the pitching wedge of Honey Baisoya, who may not have fond memories of this course after he missed a short putt on the last hole to end up runner-up at the Bengaluru Open. Playing on the eighth, Honey hit his shot to within two feet of the pin and watched as the ball spun back and into the hole.

“The hole-in-one felt amazing. It was the first hole-in-one of my life. I was actually a little scared before the tee shot because that is not an easy hole to even make a birdie. I hit a really good shot and after that, I just blacked out for a minute. Felt very happy.”

Viraj Madappa (201) and another home favourite S Chikkarangappa (201) stayed in contention to bridge the two-shot gap on the last day.

Leaderboard (after round three): 199: Miguel Carballo (Arg) (66, 66, 67); 200: Khalin Joshi (67, 69, 64), Danthai Boonma (Tha) (66, 61, 73); 201: Viraj Madappa (70, 65, 66), S Chikkarangappa (69, 64, 68); 202: Miguel Tabuena (Phi) (69, 68, 65), Maverick Antcliff (Aus) (67, 65, 70), SSP Chawrasia (69, 65, 68), Honey Baisoya (70, 66, 66), Scott Vincent (Zim) (66, 71, 65).

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