Mumbai, 29-11-2013

Rashid Khan races into three-stroke lead

Delhi’s Rashid Khan returned a four-under-66 to move into a three-stroke lead in round three of the CG Open 2013 being played at the Bombay Presidency Golf Club in Mumbai. Rashid’s three-day total now reads 16-under-194. Chikkarangappa S of Bangalore, who fired a two-under-68 on Friday, has the next best total score of 13-under-197.

Rashid Khan (64-64-66), the overnight leader by one shot, maintained his lead through the day thanks to some good iron-play and putting. Khan made four birdies against two bogeys on the front-nine. He sank a 20-footer for birdie on the fifth and picked up strokes on the par-3s – sixth and eighth.

The 22-year-old Rashid struggled with his driving through the day but the birdies still kept coming for him. He produced four more birdies on the back-nine against a double-bogey. He sank a 25-feet birdie putt on the 14th but was in trouble on the very next hole where a couple of poor shots led to a double-bogey. 

“I found only three fairways today with my driver. However, I recovered really well on most holes with my solid iron-play and putting. I found the water on the fourth but still managed a par on that hole. I think I should’ve taken a little more time before hitting my second shot from the rough on the 15th. I hurried it and that resulted in my second shot finding the trees once again,” said Rashid.

He added, “It will be a good contest in the final round as both Chikka and me have grown up playing against each other on the junior and amateur circuits. We know each other’s game well. I’ll look to improve on my driving in the final round.”

Chikkarangappa S (64-65-68) continued to be in second position on day three after a sedate 68 that featured two birdies on the fifth and 12th. Chikka holed a 20-feet putt on the fifth and also saved par from a tough position on the 15th. The rookie hit a couple of ordinary shots on the 15th before landing his chip from 15 yards within inches of the hole.

Chikka said, “I have some good memories of this course as I won my first national tournament as a junior here. I also set the course record for a single round and four rounds at BPGC during my amateur days. I would therefore head into the final round with a lot of confidence.”

The Bangladeshi duo of Md Shakhawat Hossain Sohel and Md Zamal Hossain Mollah are in tied third place at nine-under-201. Shakhawat’s five-under-65 was the best score in round three.

Abhijit Singh Chadha of Chandigarh lies fifth at eight-under-202.

Defending champion Harendra Gupta is in 61st place at eight-over-218.

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