On a pulsating day at the Golmuri Golf Club in Jamshedpur, Amardeep Malik did just enough to gain a share of the lead with a rampant Gaganjeet Bhullar and a determined SSP Chawrasia. Malik shot a 67 on Saturday, while Bhullar forced his way to the top with a brilliant 64. Chawrasia shot 68, ending the day at 20-under 196.
Khalin Joshi soared on a 62, the best score on the day. He is in T4 with Chikkarangappa, just two strokes off the leading group. The two men will join Arjun Prasad in the penultimate group on Sunday, when they tee off at 0810am, 10 minutes ahead of the leaders. Prasad, like Chikkarangappa, shot 68, reaching the final round at 16-under in 6th place.
Bhullar made five birdies in six holes, starting on the 7th for an imposing run right down the middle of his round. It was a forceful effort for Bhullar who also made a 63 in the second round. The golfer from Chandigarh shot nine birdies on Saturday for his 64.
“I’ve given myself a lot of chances in the last two days and putted really well. I’ve been getting close enough to the pins and have been converting those chances which kept building the momentum for me. I feel I’ve adjusted well to the varying conditions at the two courses.
“It’ll be interesting to play in the leader group along with SSP after a long time. I can’t remember the last time we played together in the leader group on the final day.”Gaganjeet Bhullar
Overnight leader Harendra Gupta had a disappointing day, sliding down on a 74. Rahil Gangjee shot a 68 to join Gupta at 15-under 201. Yuvraj Sandhu and Jyoti Randhawa were in T9 at 14-under.
Despite a 71 on Saturday, Karandeep Kochhar is positioned well to retain his status as the leader on the order of merit. With the season curtailed due to the pandemic, it is likely that the PGTI Tour pushes the race into 2021. A formal decision is awaited on the matter, and there has been no statement yet from the Tour officials on the subject.
Malik took charge with a burst of birdies at the bend, scoring four in five holes from the eighth. He had seven birdies and two bogeys for his 67. The irrepressible Bhullar threatened to steal the show with four birdies on either side, but a bogey at the 17th stole his momentum as he settled for a share of the lead.
“I feel I still have to be tighter with my game when I’m playing under pressure especially in the last two rounds. That’s the consistency I need. Today it was fun to play alongside my favourite Indian golfer SSP Chawrasia. Fortunately, I’ll get to play in the same group as him tomorrow as well.
“I dropped my first bogey of the tournament today on the sixth. I therefore achieved a personal record this week by going bogey-free in a tournament for 41 holes.”Amardeep Malik
Chawrasia came to life on Friday, with a scintillating 61. A measured 68 was enough on Saturday for the man from Kolkata to join the two men at the top, providing for a fabulous final group. Chawrasia was bogey free in the third round.
“I’ll go into the last round with a lot of self-belief as I’ve won here on three previous occasions having played the same format, the front-nine at Golmuri and back-nine at Beldih.”SSP Chawrasia
It was Joshi’s turn to race up the chart on Saturday. He produced two eagles – on the 4th and 16th – on his way to spotless 62, aided largely by a 29 on the front nine. Joshi is with Chikkarangappa, who made six birdies and conceded two bogeys for his 68.
Overnight leader Harendra Gupta had a forgettable day. He fought his way to a hard earned 74 that dropped him into T7 with Rahil Gangjee. A double bogey six and four other bogeys meant that Gupta endured an eleven shot swing from a 63 in the second round.
Karandeep Kochhar, the man in form, is lying just outside the top ten. Kochhar made a 71 with three birdies. Rashid Khan, Aadil Bedi and Kshitij Kaul made 68 each as they bunched at 12-under in T11.
Anirban Lahiri had to stay content with an even 72, sitting 10-under in 16th between Mani Ram and Manu Gandas. Tapy Ghai, M Dharma and Vikrant Chopra were one behind Gandas at 8-under 208.