Chandigarh golfer Harendra Gupta fired a eight-under-64 to open up a four-shot lead at the Tata Steel PGTI Feeder Tour event at the Aravalli Golf Course at Faridabad on Wednesday.
Nine-time winner Gupta’s incredible round featured two eagles-twos, six birdies and a double-bogey. He is now 10-under-134. There was a three-way tie for second place at six-under-138 between Chandigarh-based rookies Amrit Lal (72) and Shabeg Singh Kooner (69) and Sri Ganganagar’s Sandeep Singh (69).
The cut was declared at six-over-150. Thirty-eight golfers made the cut for the third and final round. He was one-over through four holes after a double-bogey on the fourth where he hit a poor bunker shot and followed that up with a missed putt from two feet.
However, Gupta made a tremendous recovery that began with birdies on the eighth and ninth. He landed his approach within inches of the flag on the ninth. A couple of quality chip-putts earned him two more birdies on the 11th and 12th.
He picked up five shots on the last three holes. On the 16th he holed his second shot from 65 yards and on the 17th he again holed his second shot, this time from the bunker, from 30 yards, to pick up consecutive eagle-twos.
Gupta capped the round with another terrific wedge shot from 120 yards on the 18th that resulted in a four feet birdie conversion. Teenager Amrit Lal, the round one leader, slipped one spot on Wednesday after returning a 72.
Delhi’s Sachin Baisoya carded an error-free seven-under-65 to take a share of fifth place at five-under-139 along with another Delhi golfer Jaiveer Singh Atwal (72). Gurugram’s Kushal Singh sank two eagle-twos during his round of 70. He ended the second round in tied 10th at three-under-141.
The two Faridabad golfers, Abhinav Lohan (four-under-140) and Ramesh Kumar (one-under-143) were placed tied seventh and tied 12th respectively.
Diksha to make Major debut
Diksha Dagar will make her Major debut while Aditi Ashok will look to better her performance at the big-ticket events when they tees off at the Evian Championships, the first of the two back-to-back Majors in Europe. Both the Indian girls will also feature in the Women’s British Open next week.
It will be fourth Major of the year for Aditi, who made the cut only in US Open, where she was T-39. Aditi has been making a place for herself on the LPGA but her performances at the Majors have been below expectations with T-22 at the 2018 Women’s British Open being the best.
Dagar hit the headlines soon after turning pro with a string of top-10s and also won the South African Open and became the second Indian after Aditi to win a title on Ladies European Tour.
Dagar will play with two highly-talented youngsters Mamiko Higa of Japan and Jenifer of the United States and they will tee off at 8.03 am, while Aditi plays with Xiyu Lin of China and Ayako Uehara of Japan and they start at 10.15 am.
Meanwhile, the reigning British Open champion Georgia Hall will be back after a break this summer ahead of the two Majors.