Gurugram, Haryana, 25-02-2023
Veer Ahlawat posts 68 to emerge as best Indian in tied fourth; Trails leader Yannik Paul of Germany by six shots
Indian duo of Angad Cheema and Honey Baisoya also in top-10
Veer Ahlawat posted a four-under 68 at his home course, the DLF Golf and Country Club, to emerge as the highest-placed Indian in tied fourth at five-under 211 in the penultimate round of the US$2 million Hero Indian Open 2023.
The six-foot-five-inch tall Veer (73-70-68), a two-time winner on the PGTI, jumped 15 spots from his overnight tied 19th as his third round featured five birdies and a bogey. The 26-year-old Ahlawat trails the leader Yannik Paul (65-69-71) of Germany by six shots.
Angad Cheema (68-71-73) in tied seventh at four-under 212 and Honey Baisoya (66-74-73) in tied 10th at three-under 213 were the other two Indians in the top-10 on day three. While Angad dropped five spots on Saturday, Honey slipped four positions.
Yannik Paul led for the third straight day at 11-under 205 as he made four birdies and three bogeys during his steady 71. Paul was one shot ahead of fellow German Marcel Siem (67) who ended the day in second place at 10-under 206. Dutchman Joost Luiten (68) was placed third at eight-under 208.
Ahlawat had just one bogey, on the Par-4 14th against five birdies, four of them on the front nine. Veer converted 10 to 12 footers for all his birdies.
Veer said, “It’s important to play it shot by shot over here and that’s what I did well today. The fact that I’m playing at my home course obviously adds to my confidence. A decent run of form on the Asian Tour and PGTI last year have also contributed to the good mental space that I’m in at the moment.
“The solid start today set up the day for me. I hit 16 greens in regulation as my ball-striking was top-notch. I left myself a lot of 10 to 12 feet putts most of which I converted with my putting being quite consistent. The relatively calm conditions also helped in scoring today.”
Behind Ahlawat, Cheema made four birdies and gave away five shots including a double-bogey while Baisoya had a solitary birdie and was unfortunate to blade his ball across the green and into the bunker on the Par-3 16th from where he would drop a double of his own, the only blot on his card.
Further down the order, Yashas Chandra (73) was tied 16th at one-under 215, while Gaganjeet Bhullar, Shubhankar Sharma, Manu Gandas and Sachin Baisoya were all tied 28th at even-par 216.
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