Bengaluru: Local duo Khalin Joshi and S Chikkarangappa fought tooth and nail to give the Indians a strong hold over overnight leader Poom Saksansin at the inaugural Take Solutions Masters, here on Saturday.
Saksansin, who had been in control from the very outset, lost a little sheen on the third day carding one-under-70 for a total of 12-under-201, but still managed to hold on to a two-stroke lead.
Bengaluru golfer Joshi fought hard as he stayed second, after turning in a card of three-under-68, for a total of 10-under-203. Fellow localite Chikka also kept his eyes on the prize as he came up with a two-under-69, which placed him third at eight-under-205.
The day’s best score was a scorching seven-under-64, carded jointly by Abhinav Lohan and Natipong Srithong.
While Lohan jumped from tied 32nd to tied fourth along with Divyanshu Bajaj, Srithong was tied 6th with Casey O’Toole.
Saksansin, who had given the rest a run for their money, did not get off to an ideal start as he dropped a shot on the par-4 third hole. But the Thai pro quickly recovered with a saved shot in the very next, followed by another on the eighth, before his second bogey on the 9th.
Taking the turn, Saksansin immediately holed two back-to-back birdies, but his woes followed as he missed another on the 12th.
On the other hand, Joshi got off two a good start with consecutive birdies on the second and third, but two dropped shots on the 6th and 8th and a double bogey on the ninth pushed the local boy down the order.
Having the advantage of knowing the course inside out, Joshi was quick to recover on the back nine with as many as five saved strokes.
Relieved to make a comeback, Joshi said, “I didn’t play well today and I have mixed feelings. But I had a good comeback on the back-nine. I have not played my best but I hope I can bring out my ‘A’ game tomorrow and finish off in style. “
The back nine seemed to have worked in favour of the local boys as Chikka who was one-over at the turn following two bogeys and the lone birdie on eight, got his own back on the return journey.
The Karnataka golfer saved four shots on the 10th, 12th, 15th and 18th with only one missed stroke on the 14th.
“The final round is going to be fun playing with my friends Khalin and Poom. We will really battle it out tomorrow,” said Chikka....