Panchkula, Haryana, 05-02-2015

Thangaraja surges ahead in round three at Panchkula

Mukesh Kumar close on the leader's heels

Sri Lankan N Thangaraja surged ahead in round three at the PGTI Players Championship presented by Panchkula Golf Club thanks to a bogey-free four-under-68. Thangaraja leads the field with a six-under-204 total. Mhow-based Mukesh Kumar was one shot off the lead in second place as he submitted an error-free card of three-under-69.

The second round was completed on Thursday morning and the cut was declared at eight-over-146. Sixty professionals made the cut. The third round began at 10:15 am on Thursday. The par for the course is back to the original 72 for the last two rounds. It had been reduced to 69 for the first two rounds as a result of the heavy rain on Tuesday.

N Thangaraja (69-67-68), who was joint fourth after round two, emerged top contender for the title after his steady round of 68 on Thursday pushed him up three places. The 33-year-old from Colombo bagged his first birdie on the third where he landed his approach a couple of feet from the flag from a distance of 100 yards. A 10 feet conversion on the seventh earned him another stroke. Thanga, a winner on the PGTI in 2013, carried the momentum forward to the back-nine with some brilliant chipping and putting that earned him birdies on the 11th and 12th.

“The conditions were easier today as the sun was out and the wind was not a factor. The flags were also more accessible. The birdie on the third got me going and set up the round for me. I finished 16th on the Rolex Rankings last year and this year my aim will be to finish inside the top-10. A win here will give me the impetus to achieve my goal,” said Thangaraja.

He added, “I’ll need a good start tomorrow as the experienced Mukesh is just a shot behind. I hope I can follow in the footsteps of my close friend and compatriot Mithun Perera who has won a title at this venue.”

Mukesh Kumar (66-70-69) also signed in an error-free card to put himself in contention. Mukesh was three-under through six holes as he landed it within five feet to set up birdies on the third, fifth and sixth. He then missed out on some birdie opportunities but managed to make pars all the way till the end.

Panchkula lad Angad Cheema ended the day in third place at four-under-206 courtesy his third round effort of one-under-71.

Chandigarh’s Abhijit Singh Chadha (68) was a further shot back in joint fourth along with Noida’s Rahul Bajaj (67). Amardip Sinh Malik of Noida occupied sixth place at two-under-208.

Gurgaon-based Shubhankar Sharma, who was the leader by five shots at the end of round two earlier in the day, had a forgettable third round as he shot a nine-over-81 to slip seven places to tied eighth at one-over-211.

Chandigarh golfer Sujjan Singh’s six-under-66 was the best score of round three. It helped him close the day in tied 14th at two-over-212. Sujjan’s superb round featured an eagle and four birdies.

Round 3 leaderboard:

204: N Thangaraja

205: Mukesh Kumar

206: Angad Cheema

207: Rahul Bajaj, Abhijit Singh Chadha


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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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