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Kochhar shoots 66 to rise to tied second spot in International Series in Thailand


Indian golfer Karandeep Kochhar fired six-under 66 to jump to the tied second spot at the USD 1.5 million International Series Thailand at Black Mountain Golf Club here on Saturday.

Kochhar’s 66 comprising eight birdies against two bogeys, carried him to 17-under and three shots behind the leader, Thai Phachara Khongwatmai (63), whose sole win on Asian Tour came at the Laguna Phuket Championship last December.

Phachara had nine birdies against no bogeys.

Kochhar, who has three career wins as a pro on the PGTI circuit is looking for his maiden success on the Asian Tour, where his best has been T-2 with six others at the Panasonic Open in India five years ago.

Kochhar once again finds himself in a crowded leaderboard, where he is T-2 along with four others — Thai golfers Poosit Supupramai (62) and Itthipat Buranatanyrat (65), American Sihwan Kim (65) and Doyeob Mun (68) from Korea.

READ: South Korean golfers lead after 3 rounds of LPGA Singapore

Among the other Indians who made the cut, Honey Baisoya (69) is the next best at 13-under and T-24, while Aman Raj (67) is 12-under and T-36, Gaganjeet Bhullar (69) and Ajeetesh Sandhu (69) are T-41. Viraj Madappa (72) is T-53 and S Chikkarangappa (75) is T-63.

Kochhar opened the day with four birdies in a row and followed up with more on eighth and ninth and also 13th and 18th. Of the four Par-5s, he picked up birdies on three of them. He dropped shots on the 11th and 16th.

Phachara emerged from a packed leaderboard to take the third-round lead.

The Thai star fired a nine-under-par 63 to lead at 20-under.

Poosit matched the course record with a 62 while Itthipat and Kim fired 65s. Kochhar returned a 66 while Mun came up with a 68.

Phachara has only dropped one shot in three days and made nine birdies on Saturday, including six on the back nine, with three on the trot from the 16th.

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