Report by Anand Datla
September 27, 2014: As the golfers head toward an exciting climax at the 17th Asian Games in Incheon, Indians Udayan Mane and Manu Gandas were lying in joint fifth with just the final round left to go. The duo were 8-under 208 after three rounds, with the lead in the hands of Cheng Tsung Pan. The contest is far from settled with Korean Eunho Youm just one behind with Taipei golfer at 15-under 201. Pan is an even 200 after making 65 in the third round to continue his dominant run.
Gandas had an outstanding nine holes when he raced through the first to ninth in just 32 shots to gain four strokes off the benign course. But an even 36 on the second nine, left him needing to be content with a 68 for the day. Manu has managed to keep his scores below par in each of the first three rounds.
Mane played give and take with the course, surrendering a shot on one side and gaining one on the other stretch to settle for an even par 72. Both men will need an exceptional performance on Sunday and a bit of a slip from the men ahead of them to stand any chance of medal, but with only three shots separating them from the bronze medal, anything is still possible in the final round.
Under pressure from a partisan crowd and a relentless Youm, Cheng Tsung showed some real mettle to produce a brilliant effort on Saturday to retain control of the leaderboard. The golfer from Taipei responded to the Korean’s charge with a stunning seven under 65 to remain firmly ahead in the race for the gold medal.
Pan went through the front nine in just 31 shots to shave five off the par score, before gaining two more shots on his way to the clubhouse for the best effort of the round. A word of appreciation is also due to Feroz Garewal, who shot his best round of the week to sneak inside the top twenty. The Indian went through the front nine in just 31 shots on his way to a 69 that helped him reach four under and T13 on Saturday.