PGTI Tour Release, 08 March 2019:
India’s Rashid Khan maintained his two-shot lead in round three of the City Bank American Express Chittagong Open 2019 courtesy a solid two-under-70 at the Bhatiary Golf & Country Club (BGCC).
The 28-year-old Rashid (65-66-70), the halfway leader by two shots, kept hopes of his 11th title alive with his second flawless round of the tournament as his total score read 15-under-201 at the BDT 47.40 lakh (INR 40 lakh) event.
Indian rookie Kshitij Naveed Kaul (67-66-70) also returned a 70 on Friday to be on the leader’s tail and continue in second place at 13-under-203.
Udayan Mane of India produced the day’s best score of 65 and thus climbed from overnight tied 16th to third place at 12-under-204.
Md Sajib Ali was the highest-placed Bangladeshi golfer for the third day in a row. Sajib (71) was placed tied 10th at nine-under-207.
Rashid Khan, who won the last of his 10 titles in December 2018 to break a two-year title-drought, emerged as the prime contender to win in Chittagong after a determined effort of 70 in the penultimate round.
The Delhi-based Rashid was not at his best on day three but still managed to grind out a two-under without dropping any strokes. He drove the green on the par-4 10th to pick up his first birdie of the day with a two-putt. Khan then sank a 15-footer for birdie on the 11th.
Rashid said, “My short-game wasn’t that good today. I was inside five yards on all four par-5s but I managed to convert on only one of those holes. I also left a few putts short which I generally don’t do.
“However, I stuck to my task and still managed a decent two-under. I made two-putts almost everywhere. Importantly, I’ve dropped just one bogey in the tournament so far and kept the errors out and that adds to my confidence going into the final round.”
Eighteen-year-old rookie Kshitij Naveed Kaul kept pace with Rashid as he too posted a 70 to keep himself in contention. Kaul, the sole leader at the turn on day three, sank five birdies on the first 11 holes before stumbling with a double-bogey on the 12th and bogeys on the 16th and 17th. He finally managed to pull a shot back with a birdie on the 18th.
Udayan Mane’s 65 featured four consecutive birdies from the eighth to 11th. It lifted him 13 places to third position.
India’s Honey Baisoya (71) was a further shot back in fourth place.
Defending champion N Thangaraja (67) of Sri Lanka was in tied 12th at eight-under-208.