March 1, 2017: Udayan Mane of Bengaluru stretched his lead to two shots at the bti Open 2017 after he posted a third round score of three-under-69 on Wednesday. Mane’s total stood at 10-under-206 at the end of round three of the Rs. 40 lakh event which is being played at the Kurmitola Golf Club (KGC) in Dhaka.
Chandigarh-based teenager Feroz Singh Garewal also shot a 69 to move up one spot to second place at eight-under-208. Bengaluru’s Khalin Joshi (71) was a further stroke back in third.
The bti Open trophy, won by local favourite Md Siddikur Rahman of Bangladesh during the inaugural 2016 edition, might be heading to India for the first time as the top nine players on the leaderboard after day three were all Indians.
Udayan Mane (70-67-69), the overnight leader by one shot, looked in total control on the front-nine having made two birdies and seven pars. He landed his wedges close enough on the seventh and ninth to make birdies.
The 26-year-old Udayan then had a few hiccups on the back-nine dropping bogeys on the 10th, 12th and 15th in exchange for just two birdies on the 11th and 14th.
Mane, who finished a creditable fifth in the money list in his rookie season on the PGTI in 2015, however managed to pull it back with birdies on the last two holes to continue as the top favourite for the title.
Mane, a two-time winner on the PGTI, said, “I made some good up and downs and par saves today. But I was all over the place from the 10th to the 15th. I had a three-putt on the 10th, missed the green and the up and down on the 12th and then found the water hazard on the 15th.
“But the birdies on the last two holes brought me back in the zone and lifted my confidence. The highlight of the day was probably the wedge shot from the first cut on the 18th that stopped inches from the hole and gave me a crucial two-shot advantage going into the final round.
“I feel I had got a little complacent at the start of the season when I missed the cut in Noida. But that is not the case anymore. I’m feeling quite confident now and will look to drive home the advantage in the final round,” added the burly Udayan, who stands 6 feet 4 inches tall.
Feroz Singh Garewal (73-66-69) continued his upward graph, moving up from tied third to second position thanks to a 69 that featured six birdies and three bogeys.
The 19-year-old Garewal, still looking for his maiden title, said, “I didn’t have a great start to the week but I’ve done well to hang in there and get myself into contention. It’s now all about converting my chances in the final round.”
Khalin Joshi (69-69-71) slipped one spot to third at seven-under-209 as a result of his 71 in round three. The three-time winner on the PGTI is expected to be another strong contender in round four.
Harendra Gupta of Chandigarh occupied fourth place at six-under-210.
The day’s best score of five-under-67 was shot by Patna’s Aman Raj, Bangladesh’s Md Nazim and Bengaluru’s Syed Saqib Ahmed.
While Aman Raj took a share of fifth place at five-under-211, Md Nazim was the best placed Bangladeshi golfer in tied 10th at three-under-213.
Syed Saqib Ahmed was tied 23rd at even-par-216.