PGTI Order of Merit leader Rashid Khan and Chandigarh’s Ajeetesh Sandhu fired an identical five-under-67 to take joint lead in the second edition of the Jeev Milkha Singh Invitational Golf tournament in Chandigarh on Saturday.
Khan staked a claim to his fourth title of the year with an error-free five-under-67 that propelled him to the top of the leaderboard at 14-under-202. Joining him as the co-leader was Sandhu who also fired in a 67.
Karandeep Kochhar will be the second Chandigarh player in the leader group on Sunday since he closed round three in third place at 13-under-203. Kochhar, the runner-up last year, returned a steady 71 in the penultimate round to keep himself in the race.
Khan (71-64-67), who matched the course record of 64 on day two to move within three of the lead in tied third, didn’t concede a shot for the second straight day.
Khan sank three long birdie putts on the fifth, eighth and 12th, the last being a mammoth 40-footer. The 28-year-old then made a couple of brilliant chip-putt birdies on the 16th and 17th.
He said, “It was a good ball-striking day for me and I’m happy to go bogey-free once again. The long birdie conversion on the 12th was the highlight of my round. I did really well to hang in there and keep myself in the game despite the slow start.”
Sandhu (66-69-67) also enjoyed a solid day with a top-notch 67 that raised local hopes. The 31-year-old wasn’t at his best on the front-nine where he made a birdie and a bogey each. But on the back-nine he turned it on with five birdies including four on the last six holes.
Karandeep Kochhar (65-67-71), who was in the lead for the first two days, slipped to third place in round three after a sedate 71.
Sri Lankan Mithun Perera, the overnight joint leader along with Kochhar, dropped to fourth place at 11-under-205 after his 73 in the third round.
Reigning champion Chikkarangappa (76) of Bengaluru was placed tied 40th at one-over-217.