Kolkata, 27-11-2021

Kshitij Naveed Kaul carries slender one-shot lead into final round of ICC RCGC Open Golf Championship 2021 Powered by Urbana

Angad Cheema and Ankur Chadha a close second and third

There was daylight between the top three – Kshitij Naveed Kaul, Angad Cheema and Ankur Chadha – and the rest of the field at the end of round three of the Rs. 40 lakh ICC RCGC Open Golf Championship 2021 Powered by Urbana being played at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club (RCGC).

Delhi’s Kshitij Naveed Kaul (69-65-70) carried a slender one-shot lead into the final round following his dogged two-under 70. The 20-year-old Kshitij, the halfway leader by two shots, managed to keep his nose ahead in round three as he fired three birdies and a bogey that took his total to 12-under 204.

Panchkula’s Angad Cheema (68-68-69), lying overnight second, narrowed the gap between himself and the leader to just one shot at 11-under 205 after his round of 69 that featured four birdies and a bogey.

Gurugram’s Ankur Chadha (68-69-69), who was third at the halfway stage, too carded a 69 punctuated by five birdies and two bogeys, to continue in third place and keep himself in the fray at 10-under 206.

While Kaul and Cheema are in search of their second title, Chadha will look to take a shot at his maiden title.

It was a slow and steady start for Kshitij Naveed Kaul on day three as he made pars all the way till the 12th. He dropped a bogey on the 13th as a result of an error in club selection but came fighting back with birdies on the 14th, 15th and 16th thanks to his precision with his approach shots.

Kaul, who won on the PGTI in 2019, said, “I played very disciplined golf and stuck to my gameplan. I just hit it closer on the back-nine which helped me pick up those birdies. I made some great par saves on the seventh and 18th where I had some awkward chip shots but managed to land it within five feet on both occasions.

“Having Vicky (Shubhankar Sharma’s former caddie) on the bag over the last four events has also helped. Our thinking is very similar as we both are very aggressive and such matching thoughts is always an added advantage.”

Angad Cheema, like Kshitij, was also slow off the blocks on Saturday. Angad three-putted for a bogey on the sixth before picking up his first birdie of the day on the 10th. He then kept pace with the leader by adding three more birdies on the 15th, 16th and 17th draining some clutch putts from a range of eight to nine feet.

Cheema, who won his only previous title in his rookie season in 2013, said, “I was quite solid today even though I wasn’t hitting it close enough to set up birdie opportunities. But I made pars and kept myself in it. The 10-feet birdie conversion on the 10th really got me going. The birdie on the 16th was also key as Kshitij was much closer to the flag than I was. At this course, you have to be on top of your game to score well and that’s what I’ll look to do in the final round.”

Ankur Chadha was one-over through the front-nine but thereafter rallied with four birdies on the back-nine to stay in contention for the title.

Sunit Chowrasia (71) was the highest-placed Kolkata golfer in tied fourth at six-under 210. Last week’s winner Yuvraj Singh Sandhu (72) of Chandigarh joined Sunit in tied fourth.

Greater Noida-based Arjun Sharma returned the day’s best card of 67 to be placed 15th at two-under 214.  

Defending champion Mithun Perera (73-73-74) of Sri Lanka was tied 32nd at four-over 220.

After the completion of the Pro-Am event on Wednesday with a professional being paired with two members of each amateur team competing, the Pro-Am Team Championship continued during the third round of the main event on Saturday where the third member of each amateur team that played on Wednesday was paired alongside two other professionals.

Now during the fourth round of the main event on Sunday, the fourth member of each amateur team will be paired alongside two other professionals. The main event will run concurrently with the Pro-Am event on Saturday and Sunday. The winner of the Pro-Am Team Championship will be declared on Sunday on the basis of the cumulative scores of Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.



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