India’s medal chances in golf suffered a big jolt on Saturday as all four players shot over-par in the third round of the men’s competition on Saturday. Rayhan Thomas (73), Aadil Bedi (74), Kshitij Naveed Kaul (76) and Hari Mohan Singh (77) all had disappointing outings and were left fighting on the back nine to salvage their rounds.
India, who had a total of 12-under from three best cards to be second after first two days, slipped to tied fifth place with a total of seven-over from the three best cards. After Saturday’s disappointment, India now has an outside chance to clinch a medal in team event.
However, there is a better chance in individual, where both Thomas and Bedi are only four shots behind second placed Sadom Kaewkanjana of Thailand and Oh Seungtaek. In team standings, the consistent Keita Nakajima followed up his 68-68 with 70 and his colleagues Daiki Imano (69) and Takumi Kanaya (73) ensured there was no disaster as Japan moved five shots ahead of second-placed South Korea, who were 17-under.
China, on the strength of Yuan Yehchun (65), Chen Jing (65) and Chen Yilong (68), has moved from +2 to -14 are placed third place. Ironically, China’s best placed Andy Zhang, has managed only 72-73-73. Even in individual standings, Thomas dropped from tied fifth to tied 10th and is now three-under 213, while Bedi, tied third overnight, also slipped to tied 10th. Kshitij is now one-over 217 and is tied 21st.
Nakajima, the reigning Australian Amateur champion, who is expected to turn pro soon, maintained his pole position with a steady card of two-under 70 that repaired his round with three birdies in last five holes. He opened a three-shot lead over China’s Cheng Jin, who after winning the 2015 Asia-Pacific Amateur Championships played the Masters the following year.
Tenth tee starter Cheng, after modest 70-72 on first two days, had seven birdies and a double in his 67, and rose from tied 13th to joint second spot with South Korea’s Oh Seung Teak (67) with a total of seven-under. However, the low card of the day came from Yuan Yechun, who shot seven-under 65 after 72-72 on first two days when he was tied 40.
Women also disappoint
In the women’s section, India’s trio had another disappointing day with Ridhima Dilawari shooting a second successive round of even par 72 to finish with a total of five-over 221 with rounds of 77-72-72 and was tied 20th.
Sifat Sagoo, the youngest in the squad, carded 75 in the final round for 222 after rounds of 75-72-75 and is tied 23rd, while Diksha Dagar was tied 26th after finishing with 74 for a total of 226. They still have one more day to improve their scores and ninth position in the team standings.