Bengaluru, Dec 8 : Sri Lankan Anura Rohana was in the driver’s seat at the end of round three of the PGTI’s Indo-MIM Presents Bengaluru Open Golf Championship 2018.
The 45-year-old Rohana’s five-under-67, his second consecutive error-free round, saw him take control as he opened up a significant five-shot lead at 18-under-198 at the Karnataka Golf Association (KGA) course here on Saturday.
Om Prakash Chouhan (67) of Mhow and Delhi’s Rashid Khan (68) occupied tied second place at 13-under-203 at the Rs. 60 lakh event.
Anura Rohana (67-64-67), the halfway leader by three shots, enjoyed a steady front-nine where he managed one birdie and eight pars to maintain a safe distance between himself and his nearest challengers Aadil Bedi, Mukesh Kumar and Rashid Khan.
Anura, who won the last of his five titles on the PGTI exactly a year back in Jamshedpur, had a contrasting back-nine thanks to a hot putter that helped him build on his lead. He drained birdie putts from a range of seven to 15 feet on the 11th, 13th and 18th. Rohana also landed his tee shot within three feet on the par-3 15th to set up another birdie.
Rohana said, “It’s great to shoot a second straight bogey-free round. So far I’ve dropped just two bogeys in the tournament and that’s the reason I’m in such a good position at this stage. I continued with my good putting form today. I didn’t miss any putts except a couple on the par-5s."
“It was good to end the day with a long birdie conversion once again. I converted a 20-footer on the closing ninth in round two and today I sank a 15 feet putt on the 18th. Such birdie conversions help in carrying forward the momentum into the next round," he said.
“I began the week with the aim of shooting at least a five-under on all days. So far, I’ve achieved that goal. Another five-under in the last round would be nice,' Rohana said.
“I’m not sure whether a lead of even five shots is enough on this course as there are a lot of good players chasing me including Rashid Khan and Om Prakash Chouhan. I can’t afford to be complacent on the final day and need to play my attacking golf from start to finish,' he said.
“It will be nice if I can become the third Sri Lankan after Mithun Perera and N Thangaraja to win on the PGTI this year,” added Anura, currently placed 21st on the PGTI Order of Merit," Rohana added.
Om Prakash Chouhan (68-68-67) was even-par for the day till the fourth hole but he picked up the pace with five birdies between the fifth and the 11th to end up with a 67. He thus gained four places from his overnight tied sixth position.
Two-time Asian Tour winner Rashid Khan gained one spot from his overnight tied third after a round of 68. Rashid was even-par for the day through the front-nine but he made a charge with four birdies on the back-nine.
Chandigarh-based teenager Aadil Bedi, dropped two places to tied fourth after a 70. He shared fourth place with Mukesh Kumar (69) of Mhow at 12-under-204.
C Muniyappa was the highest-placed Bengalurean in sixth place at 11-under-205. Muniyappa was six-under for the day till the 17th hole but conceded a double-bogey on the last hole to close the round with a 68.
Reigning champion Udayan Mane (69) of Ahmedabad was a further shot back in tied seventh along with Bengaluru’s M Dharma and Kolkata’s Divyanshu Bajaj, both of whom carded the day’s best 66, and Patna’s Aman Raj (71).
Bengaluru’s Aryan Roopa Anand, the only amateur to make the cut, came up with a 72 in round three to be placed tied 39th at one-over-217.(UNI)