Local golfer Khalin Joshi celebrated his 26th birthday with a bogey-free seven-under 64 that saw him rise to tied-2nd after the third round of the TAKE Solutions Masters in Bengaluru on Saturday.
Joshi is now just one shot behind new leader Argentine Miguel Carballo (67).
On the traditional moving day, none moved better than Joshi, who a year ago, had come within a whisker of grabbing his maiden Asian Tour title here.
Sitting at 13-under, Joshi said the course was yielding good scores and 20-under could be the target.
“Shubhankar and I spoke about it and he said you shoot 20-under. I spoke to my caddie as well and he said you shoot 20-under and you’ll win! For me it was always a goal to shoot 20-under this week.”
The tightly packed leaderboard had no less than 10 players within three shots of the leader and it had a strong Indian flavour with five of them from the host country.
On a day when the KGA course gave away a lot of good scores in perfect conditions, the only player among top-24 to go over par was Danthai Boonma, the man who was on fire on Friday.
For Danthai the putts did not drop and instead he dropped four shots between fifth and eighth as he carded 2-over 72. His lead of five overnight helped him stay at tied-2nd with Joshi and they were one shot behind Carballo.
Even as Joshi and Danthai were chasing Carballo, another player, who has recently moved to Bangalore, Viraj Madappa carded five-under 66 to join S Chikkarangappa (68) at 12-under 201 and two shots behind the leader.
“I played really well today. What’s more important is that I played bogey free. That was my key. I think I’m in a good position for tomorrow, so I’m really excited,” he said.
“There’s a lot of golf still left, 18 holes to go. But I have put myself in a good position. That’s all I was expecting this week - to just give myself a fair chance going into Sunday.”
“I want to play my own game and not look at anybody. I had set myself a target of 20-under and hopefully I can achieve it. Playing 7-under tomorrow will be great.”