Lahiri, Manu share lead at SSP Chawrasia Invitational

Kolkata, Dec 16 (PTI) India ace Anirban Lahiri produced a sedate one-under 71 to join in-form Manu Gandas of Gurugram in the lead after the third round of the inaugural SSP Chawrasia Invitational here on Friday.

Manu, who has five wins under his belt this season, scored an even-par 72 to stay at the top on a tough day for scoring as the gusty winds came into play at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club (RCGC) here.

Gaganjeet Bhullar struck the day’s joint best score of 67 which featured birdies on the last four holes and helped him close the penultimate round in tied third place along with Gurugram golfer Veer Ahlawat (70) at eight-under 208.

Delhi’s Kapil Kumar also fired a 67 to end the day in fifth place at seven-under 209.

Tournament host SSP Chawrasia shot a 73, while Shankar Das matched the day’s best 67 as the duo was tied at 13th at two-under 214 to be the highest-placed among the Kolkata-based professionals.

Yuvraj Singh Sandhu (75) of Chandigarh was placed tied 18th at one-under 215. Top-ranked Yuvraj currently enjoys a narrow lead over second-placed Manu Gandas in the TATA Steel PGTI Rankings.

Lahiri (71-65-71), who was overnight second and one stroke off the lead, made two birdies and three bogeys over the first 15 holes. He then dropped shots as a result of a couple of poor approach shots. However, he pulled it back with two birdies on the 16th and 17th.

“It was a tough day overall. As the wind was up it was a good test and challenge. I was a little disappointed with how I played,” Lahiri said.

“There were too many errors and I played the par-5s poorly. So I was not my usual self on the golf course today. Having said that, it was nice to get a couple of birdies at the end and still stay in the hunt.

“I’m hoping that the conditions are similar in round four because then it will be a battle out there with everyone battling the conditions.” Manu (69-66-72), the overnight leader by one shot, was two-over at the turn having dropped a bogey and a double-bogey on the seventh and eighth after finding the bunker on both occasions.

He then recovered ground with birdies on the 10th, 12th and 15th where he rolled in a couple of crucial putts. He missed a short putt on the 17th for another bogey.

“I had some bad tee shots today and a couple of bad judgements and mistakes on my approach shots coming in. I also missed a couple of short putts. Good judgement is necessary in such conditions.

“That’s where I made errors today. But fortunately my game picked up on the back-nine. I’m going to stick to what I did on the first two days and let’s see how it goes.”

Source: PTI News

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