14 April 2022: Yuvraj Singh Sandhu, playing on his home turf, as well as Bangladesh’s Md Zamal Hossain Mollah were in the ascendancy in round three of the Rs. 50 lakh TATA Steel PGTI Players Championship 2022 presented by Chandigarh Golf Club.
Chandigarh lad Yuvraj (70-67-65) registered the lowest score of the day, an error-free seven-under 65, to move up five spots into the joint lead at 14-under 202 along with Zamal (67-66-69) who produced a three-under 69 on Thursday, his second straight bogey-free round, to gain one spot on the leaderboard.
The Gurugram-based duo of Kartik Sharma (67-69-67) and Shivendra Singh Sisodia (68-63-72) lurked one shot behind in tied third place at 13-under 203. Kartik and Shivendra kept themselves in contention with third round scores of 67 and 72 respectively.
Tricity golfer Angad Cheema returned a 70 to occupy fifth place at 10-under 206.
Yuvraj Singh Sandhu, currently second on the PGTI Order of Merit with a win and three other top-10s in 2022 so far, had a cold start as he missed a short putt for birdie on the second. However, Yuvraj, who kept his head down and kept going, finally made breakthroughs on the fourth and ninth where he rolled in birdies from five feet.
The 25-year-old Sandhu, who has been in red-hot form since the latter half of 2021, then revved up the engine on the back-nine where he collected five more birdies. Yuvraj produced a great second shot from the rough to set up a five-feet birdie conversion on the 12th and then nearly holed-out his approach on the 15th on a day the pin positions were the toughest even as there was lesser wind.
Yuvraj, a two-time winner on the PGTI, said, “I don’t remember shooting a bogey-free round previously at my home course. So that’s a big boost for my confidence heading into the final round.
“The wind wasn’t a big factor today so I saw it as a day to capitalize on the calmer conditions and climb up the leaderboard. But the pins were pushed to the edges today so finding those exact yardages off the fairway was a little tough as one was in between clubs.
“I almost holed out twice today so the ball-striking was good and my putting took off on the back-nine. I made a tough two-putt from 70 feet on the par-5 13th.
“I’m also feeling the comfort of playing at home after being on the road for so many weeks. The home support and warmth is there plus my daily chores are taken care of so that helps me recover faster for the next round.”
Md Zamal Hossain Mollah has now gone bogey-free for the last 51 holes in the tournament as he dropped his only bogey of the week on the third hole in round one. On Thursday, Mollah sank three birdies on the front-nine including a 25-feet conversion from the edge on the sixth. The 37-year-old, who has one top-10 this year, then had a quiet spell of pars all the way from the ninth to the 18th as he missed a few short birdie putts.
Zamal said, “My driving and chipping continues to be the best part of my game this week. I’ve been making most of the fairways and greens in regulation. The big disappointments today were my iron shots and putting on the back-nine. Playing error-free for the last two days has really lifted my confidence ahead of the final round.”
Both the second round leader Shivendra Singh Sisodia and Kartik Sharma struggled with their driving on day three but managed to keep themselves in the hunt. Sisodia made an eagle, two birdies and four bogeys while Sharma had an eagle, five birdies and two bogeys.
The two other Chandigarh golfers in the top-10 were defending champion Karandeep Kochhar (68) and Ranjit Singh (69). Karandeep was placed seventh at eight-under 208 while Ranjit was in eighth position at seven-under 209.
Chandigarh’s Abhijit Singh Chadha, who was overnight third, dropped to tied 15th at four-under 212 following a 77 in round three.
Udayan Mane (74) was also in tied 15th place.