Nuh, Haryana, 31-03-2022
Rory Hie on course for an encore at Classic Golf & Country Club, keeps the lead for the third straight day at Gurugram Challenge 2022 TATA Steel PGTI ADT
Dodge Kemmer on the leader’s tail; Abhijit Singh Chadha is best-placed Indian in tied third; Kartik Sharma shoots day’s best 64 to move into fifth
Indonesia’s Rory Hie is on course for an encore at the Classic Golf & Country Club as he kept the lead for the third day running after he posted a six-under 66 in round three of the Gurugram Challenge 2022 TATA Steel PGTI – ADT hosted by Classic Golf & Country Club.
The 33-year-old Rory (63-69-66), who became the first player from his country to win on the Asian Tour after he claimed the Classic Golf and Country Club International Championship at the same venue in 2019, maintained his one-shot overnight lead with his 54-hole total standing at 18-under 198. Hie’s round included two birdie chip-ins.
American Dodge Kemmer’s (67-66-66) third round 66 saw him continue in second place. Kemmer is on the leader’s tail at 17-under 199 at the US$75,000 event jointly sanctioned by the PGTI and Asian Development Tour (ADT).
Abhijit Singh Chadha (68-66-66) was the highest-placed Indian in tied third after he too returned a 66 that took his total to 16-under 200. Thailand’s Chanat Sakulpolaphaisan (66-67-67) carded a 67 to share third place with Chadha.
India’s Kartik Sharma shot the day’s best score, an outstanding eight-under 64, to move up 19 spots to fifth place at 14-under 202. Kartik, like Rory, made two chip-ins on Thursday, one for birdie on the second and the other for an eagle-two on the 15th where he holed it from 40 yards.
Rory Hie began his day with a chip-in for birdie on the first hole. Hie, struggling with his ball-striking, then produced two more birdies and a bogey before the turn. Rory came up with his second birdie chip-in of the day from a tough position on the seventh.
Rory, who was sharp with his short-game in round three, started rolling in the putts on the back-nine as a result picking up birdies on the 10th, 13th and 14th. After conceding his lead with a bogey on the 16th, Hie snatched the lead once again on the 18th where he hit a great 4-iron second shot to set up a three-feet eagle conversion.
Rory said, “It was windy at the start and then was calm on the back-nine so I took advantage of the relatively easier conditions there.
“The seventh was a crazy hole. I had no swing with my second shot but managed to hit it over the green. I then chipped-in from there which was really a bonus.
“I had to dig deep today after I made bogey on the 16th. I made a tough eight-footer for par on the 17th before the eagle on the last hole that gave me good momentum heading into the final day.
“I’m just looking to enjoy myself in the final round at one of my favourite venues. This week is good preparation for me for the Asian Tour events coming up soon.”
Dodge Kemmer was off to a flying start as he putted his way to an eagle and three birdies on the first six holes with some long conversions. Thereafter, Kemmer’s progress slowed down as he kept finding the trees and bunkers and missed a few fairways. Dodge managed two birdies and a bogey on the back-nine.
Kemmer said, “I couldn’t get enough practice before the round this morning as I had trouble finding transport to the golf course. So I was delighted with my start as it could’ve been a lot worse.
“I was in the trees a lot more than the last two days but was able to find some gaps and get it into play and save par on a few occasions. The aim in round four would be to hit more fairways than I did today and putt well.”
Abhijit Singh Chadha, who enjoys a good record at Classic having won at the venue at the junior, amateur and professional levels, began well with four birdies on the first five holes. Chadha then lost some momentum with three bogeys in quick succession but bounced back well on the back-nine with five birdies. He drove the green on the par-4 15th to set up a birdie.
Chanat Sakulpolaphaisan mixed six birdies and a bogey to join Abhijit in tied third.
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