Pattaya, Thailand, 30 Dec 2017

Shiv Kapur drops to second on day three of Royal Cup, trails leader by two shots

Gaganjeet Bhullar moves into joint third

Shiv Kapur of India dropped one position to second place after carding a three-under-68 in round three of the US$500,000 Royal Cup. Shiv, who totalled 10-under-203 after three days, trails the leader Prom Meesawat of Thailand by two shots.

Kapur (67-68-68), the joint leader in the first two rounds, sank a birdie on the closing 18th at the Phoenix Gold Golf and Country Club on Saturday, to keep things interesting going into the final round.

Kapur, who was playing with Prom in the same group, kept within sight of the leader with a pivotal birdie on the 12th in addition to the one on the last hole.

Shiv’s solid season has been a huge turnaround for him after going through a tough year in 2016 where he lost his European Tour card and had to go through a liver surgery which kept him out of the game for a few months.

Kapur said, “I played great today. He (Prom) didn’t make many mistakes. He left the door opened once or twice, but I didn’t capitalise on it. Every time I made a birdie, he seemed to make a birdie as well. He played a solid back nine and he seemed to pull away a bit.
“I told my caddie at the 18th tee, if I can birdie the last and close the gap to two shots, that can give me a better chance for a win. It’s a big difference between being two shots back and three shots back. The birdie on 12th was the turning point of my round today. If I missed and he made the birdie, it would’ve widened the gap.
“I’m not trying to get into a match play situation. Perhaps, if it’s the last few holes tomorrow and it’s a similar situation as today then maybe, you can look at that.
“I’ve known Prom since the junior days and I’ve played with him in the last 15 to 20 years. I have a lot of respect for his game. He’s a fantastic player and he’s not going to hand me the tournament. I’m going to have to go out and work hard for it. With a birdie at the last hole, I have a better chance.
“It’ll be a fun battle if I can score some birdies on the front nine and put some pressure on him.”
Gaganjeet Bhullar (67-71-69) moved up one place into joint third as a result of his 69 in round three. Bhullar’s dramatic third round saw him make six birdies, two bogeys and a double-bogey.

Gaganjeet said, “It was a bit of a yo-yo round and there were lots of ups and downs during the day.
“I did make six birdies today, but I’ve also made some bad shots which led to bogeys. But otherwise, I drove the ball well like I did the last two rounds, kept the ball in play at pretty much all the holes and I gave myself plenty of birdie opportunities. I made some par saves at the end but otherwise, it was a decent round.
“I started the round pretty well with two consecutive birdies. The other highlight was my second shot on the eighth. I was 92 yards from the stick. I took a sand wedge, hit the ball from the rough and it went in.
“I’m looking forward to having a good low round on Sunday.”

Khalin Joshi, who fired a third round of 71, slipped from tied fourth to tied ninth at four-under-209.

Jyoti Randhawa, the fourth Indian in the field, was placed tied 38th at two-over-215.

Source: Asian Tour

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