Kochi, 11 Apr 2014

Sanjay Kumar and Rashid Khan emerge top contenders in round three

Sanjay Kumar of Lucknow and Delhi’s Rashid Khan ended day three as joint leaders at the PGTI Cochin Masters presented by CIAL Golf and Country Club. While Sanjay shot a three-under-33 on Friday, Rashid came up with a two-under-34 as both players took their three-day tally to seven-under-101. There is a three-way tie for third place between Gurgaon’s Shubhankar Sharma and Sri Lankans Anura Rohana and K Prabagaran at five-under-103. 

Sanjay Kumar’s (33-35-33) round of 33 lifted him from overnight tied second to the top of the bunch. Sanjay landed his approach within five feet and converted the putt for his first birdie of the day on the 11th. The 42-year-old went on to hole a 15-feet birdie putt on the 14th to move to two-under for the day. Sanjay, a winner of six titles, picked up his third and final birdie of the round courtesy a chip to two feet on the 16th.  

Sanjay said, “I was quite pleased with my bogey-free effort today since the wind came into play once again. My wedge shots were the best part of my game in round three. I’ve made just one bogey in the tournament so far and that has helped me stay in contention. One has to be very careful not to drop shots in this shortened format as there aren’t too many opportunities to come back. I’ve not done well in the 2014 season so far and would therefore like to make an impact here.”

Rashid Khan (32-35-34), the sole leader by one shot after round two, now shares the lead with Sanjay. Rashid, who has not dropped a single stroke in the tournament so far, continued to impress on day three. He knocked down a mammoth 30-footer for birdie on the 15th. The 23-year-old pocketed his second birdie on the par-3 17th where his tee shot stopped within six feet of the flag.

Rashid, a winner of five titles, said, “I hit the ball well and was steady once again. Importantly, I didn’t drop a bogey. The only dissappointment was that I didn’t take all my opportunities on the greens and missed some putts. The win on the Asian Tour has really lifted my spirits and has helped me perform even better. It will be a good fight in the final round. Whoever in the top-6 gets off to a great start with two or three birdies on the first six holes is in with a chance.”

Shubhankar Sharma fired his second 33 of the tournament to be placed tied third, two behind the joint leaders. K Prabagaran, who won on the PGTI last week, joined Sharma in third along with fellow Sri Lankan Anura Rohana.

The Delhi duo of Gulfam and Kapil Kumar along with Noida’s Amardip Sinh Malik and Sri Lankan Mithun Perera are joint sixth at four-under-104.
Ashok Kumar, Himmat Singh Rai, Chiragh Kumar and KPS Sekhon shot the day’s best score of four-under-32. While Ashok and Himmat are in tied 16th place, Chiragh lies tied 29th and KPS Sekhon is in tied 35th. 

Rahil Gangjee occupies tied 11th place along with Digvijay Singh at two-under-106.

Anirban Lahiri is in joint 20th place at even-par-108. He returned a 36 on Friday.

Local amateurs Joseph Joseph and Alexander K J are placed tied 117th and 120th respectively.

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