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Manila, The Philippines, 11 Nov 2017

Jyoti Randhawa emerges joint leader after round three of Resorts World Manila Masters, raises hopes of his first Asian Tour win since 2009

Anirban Lahiri is tied ninth on day two of OHL Classic at Mayakoba

India’s Jyoti Randhawa came up with yet another super effort at the Asian Tour’s Resorts World Manila Masters to emerge as the joint round three leader at 15-under-201 along with local favourite Miguel Tabuena of the Philippines.

Randhawa (70-64-67), bogey-free for his last 49 holes of the tournament, fired a third round of five-under-67 to raise hopes of his first Asian Tour victory since 2009.

Jyoti, an eight-time Asian Tour winner, marked birdies on holes six, seven, 14, 15 and 18 on Saturday to move up three spots from his overnight tied fourth. The 45-year-old, whose last Asian Tour win came at the Thailand Open in 2009, birdied the 18th for the third successive day at the US$1 million event.
 
The duo of Randhawa and Tabuena led the field by one stroke at the Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club.
 
The joint leaders were chased by a bunch of four players in tied third at 14-under-202 that included Asian Tour rookie Micah Lauren Shin of the United States, Filipino Justin Quiban and Thai golfers Namchok Tantipokhakul and Arnond Vongvanij.

Randhawa, who became India’s first ever Asian Tour Order of Merit winner in 2002, said, “I didn’t take my chances today. I am not hitting my long-irons too good. All the par-fives today, I sort of laid up to the front of the greens and made up and downs for birdies. It was just a strategy of mine. I didn’t want to take too many risks today and I did that.

“The course is getting drier I think, conditions were much better today. The fairways have improved a lot. The greens are always good here, if not for the rain this week.

“I will be glad if I can continue to do the same thing for the final round tomorrow. It’s good to be in this position for tomorrow. There are a lot of good players in contention so everybody has a chance tomorrow. I will stick to my game plan and continue to do what I have done today and yesterday,” added the man with the most Asian Tour wins among Indians along with Arjun Atwal and Gaganjeet Bhullar.
 
India’s SSP Chawrasia (66-68-69), the defending champion, produced an error-free 69 but dropped from overnight tied fourth to tied seventh at 13-under-203, two shots back of the leaders.

SSP said, “I shot a 69 today and I think it’s still alright. It’s a good round actually although I missed a couple of putts. I was hitting the ball really well but I just can’t seem to make any putts, especially on my front nine.

“I am only two shots behind so I still have a chance to win tomorrow. We will see how it goes. I will stick to the same game plan tomorrow.”

After two successive scores of 67, Arjun Atwal (67-67-71) struck a 71 to be the third Indian in the top 10 after round three. Atwal, who slipped six places from his overnight tied fourth to tied 10th, was four behind the leaders at 11-under-205.

Among the other Indians, while Gaganjeet Bhullar was in tied 20th at nine-under-207, the trio of Shiv Kapur, Ajeetesh Sandhu and Honey Baisoya were placed tied 24th at eight-under-208. Baisoya’s 66, the best Indian score on day three, lifted him 40 places from his overnight tied 64th.

Chiragh Kumar, Khalin Joshi and Himmat Rai were in tied 38th position at six-under-210.

Sujjan Singh was tied 65th at two-under-214.

At the PGA Tour’s OHL Classic at Mayakoba, Anirban Lahiri of India followed up his first round 67 with a two-under-69 in round two. He was lying tied ninth at six-under-136, five off the lead, even as the second round could not be completed on day two.


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