Khalin soars to the top

Khalin Joshi carded a superb eight-under 64 to join Bangladesh’s Siddikur Rahman at the top of the leaderboard in the penultimate round of the USD 400,000 Panasonic Open India at Delhi Golf Club on Saturday.

The 26-year-old Joshi, who is hunting for a maiden Asian Tour title, produced a near-perfect card which included nine birdies and one bogey. His three-day total of a 13-under-203 now matches Siddikur, who scored 70 in the third round.

Joshi, a three-time winner on the PGTI, was delighted with his round: “I hit it pretty well of the tee and the putting was also good, so overall the game is in good shape. I’m happy with the way I’m playing.

“I have always struggled to hit fairways with the driver here at the DGC. But I have worked on my driving. I’m hitting drivers on a few holes this year. At the moment, I’m comfortable with my swing and the way I’m playing. I have a fair chance on Sunday and hopefully tomorrow I will be up there throughout the round.”

There was a strong Indian presence in the top-5 as Ajeetesh Sandhu continued to be on third place after he delivered a 70 in round three. Overnight joint-leader Suradit Yongcharoenchai of Thailand slipped two shots off the pace to fourth following a 72 in the event.

“I’m disappointed with my score because I played a lot better than that. I just missed a lot of putts. But still I'm just one back so that doesn't mean anything. There are still 18 holes to go,” Sandhu said.

Meanwhile, Aman Raj struck a second successive 68 to occupy fifth place at 10-under-206. Sachin Baisoya (67) and M Dharma (70) were both tied for sixth at nine-under 207, thus making it five Indians in the top-10.

Defending champion Shiv Kapur, former champion Chiragh Kumar, Tapy Ghai, S Chikkarangappa and Jyoti Randhawa were all in tied 17th at five-under 211.

Leading scores (after 54 holes, Indians unless mentioned): 203: Khalin Joshi (71, 68, 64), Siddikur Rahman (67, 66, 70, Ban); 204: Ajeetesh Sandhu (67, 67, 70); 205: Suradit Yongcharoenchai (66, 67, 72, Tha); 206: Aman Raj (70, 68, 68); 207: Sachin Baisoya (70, 70, 67), Matt Stieger (70, 69, 68, Aus), Yutaka Araki (70, 67, 70, Jpn) Settee Prakongvech (70, 67, 70, Tha), M Dharma (70, 67, 70).

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Khalin soars to the top

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