Delhi, 04 Nov 2017

Shiv Kapur’s late surge places him on top along with American Paul Peterson

Shamim Khan one back in third, also in the hunt

On day three of the Panasonic India Open the leaderboard continued to be dominated by Indians with the sole exception of American Paul Peterson.

There was drama as Indian star Shiv Kapur’s last hole eagle at his home course, the Delhi Golf Club (DGC), ensured he closed the day in the joint lead along with Peterson at 13-under-203 at the US$400,000 Asian Tour event.

Kapur’s compatriot and fellow DGC professional Shamim Khan kept himself in the hunt for a maiden Asian Tour title as he was one off the lead in third place.

SSP Chawrasia, looking for his fourth international win at the DGC course, was lurking in fourth place alongside the Indian duo of Om Prakash Chouhan and Sudhir Sharma. They were placed two shots behind the leaders.

Shiv Kapur (65-69-69), eager to bag his first Asian Tour title in India, finally climbed to the top of the pack after being placed second for two days in succession. He was not at his best on the first 11 holes where he found the bushes twice that resulted in a bogey and a double-bogey.

Kapur then stepped on the pedal with a birdie on the 14th and a spectacular 25-feet conversion for eagle on the 18th.

Kapur said, “It was a hard fight and I didn’t have my A game by any means. It was a B at best. I was really struggling off the tees and it was a real battle out there. I hit it into the bush on the first and made a bogey. I hit it again into the bush on 11 and made a double there. So it was nice to finish with an eagle and salvage something out from the day. It was one of those days where I showed lots of grit and character. I’m very proud of myself.”

Round two leader Paul Peterson (69-64-70) also made a chip-in eagle on the 18th to stay in the joint lead on day three.

Shamim Khan (66-69-69), a winner of 14 professional titles on the Indian domestic circuit including three at the DGC, kept his hopes alive of a maiden international win with a solid third round of 69 that featured four birdies and a bogey. He missed out on the joint lead after his 10 feet birdie putt didn’t find the hole on the closing 18th.

Shamim, the current PGTI Order of Merit leader, said, “It’s definitely not my best round of the week but those two birdies at the end kept me in the hunt. I was quite solid and didn’t make too many errors except the bogey on the ninth.

“I enjoyed a good run on the 16th and 17th where I converted two long putts, one from 12 feet and the other from 25 feet. That stretch turned out to be crucial for me as I now trail by just one shot which is nothing at DGC.

“I’ve grown up playing at the DGC but I still can’t take this course for granted. Going by my years of experience at the DGC, I will look to play steady in the final round and not try to be too aggressive.

“My hitting will be the key tomorrow. It’s also important to stay in the moment and not get too ahead of myself.”

Indian youngsters Om Prakash Chouhan and Sudhir Sharma shot scores of 66, their best at DGC, to climb six spots to tied fourth at 11-under-205. Their rounds were also the best among the Indians.

Chouhan, a four-time winner on the PGTI, said, “I had two chip-ins today on the seventh and 11th and didn't miss a single fairway. Importantly, I've found the bushes just once so far this week.

“I was a little careless about my game in the first half of the year and took things a little too easy by not practicing hard enough. That led to some bad results. But I corrected that in the second half and things have begun to look up once again.”

Sudhir, a two-time winner on the PGTI Feeder Tour, said, “I've been struggling all year. Things only started falling in place with the last two events on the PGTI

“I recovered well from the rough twice on the ninth and the 18th landing my shot within three feet of the pin on both occasions.

“I didn't see the leaderboard all day. But when I saw it on the 17th, I realized I was joint leader. It made me a little nervous and I guess that resulted in the bogey on the 17th.”

SSP Chawrasia’s third round 69 meant he also took a share of fourth place.

Chawrasia said, “I'm feeling confident. I'm playing well and I'm looking forward to the final day tomorrow. I know this course well and I’m not too far off the lead. The way I see it, if you can shoot six-under or better, you’ll stand a good chance of winning.”

The other Indians in the top 10 were Aman Raj, Karandeep Kochhar, Honey Baisoya and Divyanshu Bajaj. The quartet was tied for eighth at eight-under-208.
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