Thangaraja surges ahead in round three
N Thangaraja of Sri Lanka continued in the lead for the third straight day at the PGTI Players Championship at Noida Golf Course after he shot a one-under-71. Thangaraja thus built a five-shot lead ahead of the final round as his total read five-under-211. M Dharma of Bangalore, Nepal’s Shivaram Shrestha, Kolkata’s Raju Ali Mollah, Bangladeshi Md Zamal Hossain Mollah and Ranjit Singh of Chandigarh are currently in tied second place.
Thangaraja (68-72-71), the overnight joint leader, took a giant leap towards his maiden professional title after firing a tenacious 71 in testing conditions on Friday. The 32-year-old was on fire on the first 10 holes as he picked up five birdies against a lone bogey. Thangaraja displayed some superb iron-play as he landed his approach shots within three feet on three occasions for birdies on the second, sixth and seventh. He chipped-in from the bunker for birdie on the fifth and sank a 15-feet birdie putt on the 10th.
Thangaraja’s tee shots were off the mark on the 12th, 13th and 16th. He also missed chip-putts on these holes and as a result dropped bogeys.
“I played really well on the first 10 holes but struggled with my tee shots and my short-game thereafter. I hit it well with the 3-wood. I’ll look to make maximum fairways and greens in the final round and play some consistent golf. I enjoy a comfortable lead at the moment but I need to make a solid start in the final round in order to capitalize on the advantage,” said Thangaraja, who finished runner-up at PGTI’s event in Sri Lanka last week.
Ranjit Singh, the overnight joint leader, slipped to tied second place after returning a 76 in round three that took his total to even-par-216. Ranjit was joined by M Dharma, Shivaram Shrestha, Raju Ali Mollah and Md Zamal Hossain Mollah in tied second place. Dharma fired a 69 on Friday.
Formed in 2006, Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) is the recognised official body of professional golf in India. PGTI's objective is to promote professional golf in the country, as well as to give players an opportunity to be involved in the decision making on all aspects of the game. Headed by Mr. Srinivasan H R (President), PGTI's governing body comprises leading Indian golf professionals. PGTI currently has over 300 members.
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