February 3, 2017: The Dhaka Golf Club finally bared its fangs, reining in the surging field of bullish golfers. Canadian Richard Lee and American Nicolas Paez shot the low score of the third round, making 67. Jazz Janewattananond shot 69, enough to carry a four shot cushion into the final round. Shubhankar Sharma is lying in second, just one stroke ahead of local hero Siddikur Rahman. The Bangladesh Open was poised for a promising finish with the rest of the top ten, besides Jazz, separated by just three shots.
The Thai star produced four birdies on Friday, but also endured two bogeys. Jazz’s steady effort in the third round helped him take firm control of the tournament at 13-under 200.
“I just tried to do my best out there. Sharma got off to a good start but I managed to hang it there. Playing in the last group in the final round tomorrow, my mindset is definitely going to be different,” said Jazz. “I will go out there and do my best to secure my first Asian Tour win.”
“I don’t know what will happen but one thing I am sure is I will be really happy out there. I didn’t expect to be playing so well here before coming,” added Jazz. “I had struggled with my game when I played in Qualifying School and on the Asian Development Tour event in Malaysia a few weeks back.”
Shubhankar Sharma had a wonderful opportunity to press for an advantage. The 21 year old Indian looked set for a solid score as he raced to three under by the seventh hole.
Sharma made three pars from there, before conceding a triple bogey seven at the 11th hole. Shubhankar corrected course by making a pair of birdies at 13 & 14.
But his score sank irretrievably as he surrendered a bogey at the 16th before adding another double at the next hole.
“It was a really interesting round. I had a superb start but fell back on the back nine. Other than that, I think I still played pretty well,” assured Sharma. “I am still swinging the ball good. I just need to putt slightly better tomorrow and avoid making as many mistakes as I did today.”
“I wasn’t thinking much really. I started well and I told myself to keep making birdies on the back nine,” added Sharma. “The drop shots were costly but I am still in a good position for tomorrow, although I would have liked the gap to be closer. It’s not over yet. I still have another round so I will do my best.”
Chiragh Kumar was spotless on a difficult day in Dhaka. He shot a solid 68 that included birdies at the 8th, 15th and 16th holes. Kumar is lying in T5 at 7-under 206.
Udayan Mane began with a birdie at the first hole, but dropped back to even with a bogey at the fifth. Mane wasn’t troubled after that as he coasted home without any further damage. He also added three birdies on the back nine to set himself up for a top ten finish in Dhaka.
Rashid Khan and Khalin Joshi are lying in T15 at 3-under 210.
Pictures from Asian Tour