Bengaluru’s M. Dharma, Chandigarh’s Ranjit Singh and Kapil Kumar of Delhi were in a three-way tie for the lead after the third day of the Gujarat Open Golf Championship here on Thursday.
The trio were placed at 10-under 206 at the Kalhaar Blues & Greens Golf Club as the tournament is headed for a fascinated finish.
Karandeep Kochhar, another Chandigarh golfer and Delhi’s Arjun Prasad were two strokes adrift of the joint leaders in tied fourth place at the Rs. 40 lakh event.
M Dharma (72-69-65) struck the day’s best score of seven-under 65 to gain 12 spots on the leaderboard. Dharma’s putter was on fire early on as he sank some long putts to pick up an eagle and five birdies on the first 10 holes.
Dharma, a two-time winner on the PGTI, then endured a tough stretch when he double-bogeyed the 13th after finding the hazard and missed a short birdie putt on the 14th. However, he regained his touch with birdies on the 15th and 17th.
The seasoned Ranjit Singh (70-68-68), looking for his first title, moved up three places with his second successive 68 on Thursday.
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Ranjit had a quiet front-nine with a birdie and a bogey but made a move on the back-nine with five birdies and a bogey. He capped his round with an outstanding approach on the 18th that landed within a couple of feet of the flag.
Kapil Kumar (68-67-71), who was overnight second and two off the lead, kept himself in the hunt for his maiden title with a 71 riding on his good driving and putting form. Kapil’s three birdies included some quality chip-putts. He also dropped two bogeys.
Karandeep Kochhar (64-75-69), who returned a 75 in round two, came back into contention with a 69 on day three.
Arjun Prasad (73-65-70) carded a 70 on Thursday to continue in tied fourth place at eight-under 208.
Round two leader Tapy Ghai of Delhi shot a 76 to drop to tied sixth place at seven-under 209.
Among the Gujarat-based golfers, Anshul Patel (73-70-72) was the highest-placed as he occupied tied 18th at one-under 215. The other two local golfers Varun Parikh (one-over 217) and Shravan Desai (eight-over 224) were placed tied 23rd and tied 37th respectively.