N Thangaraja in pole position, Manu Gandas and Abhijit Singh Chadha in pursuit on day three of Impiger Technologies presents Chennai Open 2022
Sri Lankan N Thangaraja's strong back-nine ensured he struck a five-under 67 on day three to be in pole position as he enjoyed a one-stroke lead at 16-under 200 at the Impiger Technologies presents Chennai Open 2022.
Gurugram golfer Manu Gandas' rear-guard action including a closing eagle helped him to a 68 keeping him in contention at 15-under 201 at the Rs. 40 lakh event.
Chandigarh's Abhijit Singh Chadha was also in pursuit following a day's best of 66 and another closing eagle that took his total to 14-under 202 and placed him third.
The first half of the round saw sultry conditions like the second round. But the weather changed for the better in the latter half of the round as it became overcast with a gentle breeze coming into play even as the temperature dropped. There was a drizzle towards the end of play.
N Thangaraja (66-67-67), the overnight joint leader, continued to be one of the top contenders after the penultimate round as a result of his tenacious 67 which featured an eagle, five birdies and two bogeys. Thangaraja had a slow front-nine where his best effort was a super second shot on the fourth that left him a seven-feet eagle conversion.
Thanga, a three-time winner on the PGTI, then picked up four birdies on the back-nine with some great putting and a good chip to strengthen his claim to the title.
“It was my putting all the way today. A strong back-nine today gives me confidence heading into the final round. I’ve played so well after a long time so just want to keep it going. I’ve adapted well to the conditions here as I encounter similar conditions in my home country Sri Lanka,” said Thangaraja, who last won on the PGTI in 2018.
Manu Gandas (68-65-68), the joint halfway leader along with Thangaraja, slipped one spot on day three after an up and down round. Manu, a three-time winner on the PGTI, was even-par for the day through 12 holes before he rolled in some long birdie putts on the 14th and 17th and set up an eagle with a terrific second shot on the 18th.
Gandas said, “It was a mixed bag for me today. I didn’t hit my wedges well and made some errors in the middle of the round but I was happy to finish well. The key in round four would be to repeat what I’ve done so far.”
Abhijit Singh Chadha (71-65-66) moved up one spot to third place thanks to his 66. Abhijit’s quality approach shots and wedge-play brought him birdies on the first four holes and the eighth hole for an outstanding front-nine. Chadha then dropped a bogey on the 15th but more than made up for it with an eagle on the 18th courtesy a brilliant second shot.
Chadha said, “I managed myself really well today and it was a good day for me on the greens. I’ve done well on the front-nine so far so want to keep that going in the last round.”
Karandeep Kochhar (68) from Chandigarh occupied fourth place at 12-under 204 while Bengaluru’s Khalin Joshi (70) was a further shot back in fifth position.
Ravi Kumar of Chandimandir produced a 66, the day’s joint best, to be tied sixth at nine-under 207 along with Bangladesh’s Badal Hossain (67).
Defending champion Mithun Perera of Sri Lanka was tied 16th at five-under 211.
The two Chennai-based professionals who made the cut, S Prasanth and Sandeep Syal, were placed tied 38th at even-par 216 and tied 51st at four-over 220 respectively.
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