14 February, 2019: Young Sunit Chowrasia, looking to build on a highly satisfactory rookie season last year, edged ahead with a gritty two-under-70 in brutal conditions on day three of the PGTI Players Championship at the Classic Golf & Country Club in Nuh, Haryana. The 24-year-old Kolkata-based Sunit established a one-shot lead at 11-under-205.
Interestingly, the younger Chowrasia’s super effort coincided with his illustrious uncle SSP Chawrasia’s brilliant start at the ISPS Handa World Super 6 Perth where the latter shot an opening round of four-under-68 to be tied fifth.
Gurugram-based 22-year-olds, Veer Ahlawat (67) and Manu Gandas (70), were also tied for third. Ahlawat fired the day’s best score of five-under-67.
Sunit Chowrasia (68-67-70), lying tied second and one behind the lead at the halfway stage, fought his way to the top on an extremely windy day at Classic with a determined 70. Chowrasia, fresh from a creditable 44th place finish on the PGTI Order of Merit during his rookie season last year, wasn’t looking the likely leader when he three-putted on the sixth to drop a bogey.
Sunit, who was among India’s leading amateurs till 2017, then put up a display of some exceptional approach shots as he landed it within a couple of feet on both the eighth and 12th to score birdies and move to one-under for the day. On the par-4 15th, with his confidence growing, Chowrasia’s terrific drive almost found the green before he two-putted for another birdie.
Chowrasia, leading a PGTI event going into the final round for the first time, said, “The conditions weren’t easy to score so I’m delighted to have shot a steady two-under. I missed a few short putts today but more than made up with some outstanding approach shots and solid wedge-play.
“I’m in good rhythm at the moment and will look to be as consistent in round four as I was today. I repeatedly found the centre of the fairway today and will try to replicate that in the final round. I’ll be speaking to my uncle this evening and definitely expect to get some sound advice from him.”
Udayan Mane (71-64-71), who was overnight tied second, hung in there with two birdies and a bogey during his resolute 71 to close the day in second position at 10-under-206.
Pre-tournament favourite Shubhankar Sharma (70-68-69) moved into contention with a gain of five spots that saw him rise to tied third place at nine-under-207. Shubhankar’s third round of 69 featured a late flourish as he made a hat-trick of birdies from the 14ththrough the 16th.
Halfway leader Akshay Sharma of Chandigarh slipped to tied sixth at eight-under-208 after a round of 74. Akshay shared sixth place with Delhi-based teenager Kshitij Naveed Kaul (70) and Bengaluru’s M Dharma (71), the joint runner-up in Hyderabad last week.