Akshay extends lead

Tribune News Service
Panchkula, November 6

With one round to go, Chandigarh’s Akshay Sharma extended his lead at the top to five shots in the PGTI Players Championship at the Panchkula Golf Club.

Sharma, overnight leader by three shots, came up with a composed 5-under 67 to take his tournament tally to 19-under.

Another Chandigarh golfer, Karandeep Kochhar, shot a 3-under 69 to take sole claim of the second place at 14-under. Bengaluru’s S Chikkarangappa (72), who was tied-2nd with Kochhar after Round 2, slipped to third at 11-under. Kolkata’s Viraj Madappa fired the day’s best score of a 6-under 64 to move up 21 spots to fourth position at 9-under.

Sharma made birdies on the 12th, 13th and 14th holes after sinking putts from a range of 25 to 45 feet. He made 15 greens in regulation for the second day running. “It was another solid round for me barring one error early on,” said Sharma. “My hitting was as good as the last two rounds but I didn’t hit it that close to the holes today. I have a comfortable lead so I will look to play steady and let the others do all the attacking,” he added.

Kochhar steady at 2nd

Kochhar kept pace with the leader for most part of the day, making five birdies in the first 13 holes. He suffered a couple of setbacks towards the end, dropping bogeys on the 15th and 17th.

“I had only one bad hole today (15th) otherwise it was a good round,” said Kochhar. “I just got a little unlucky on the 17th. A five-shot deficit is not a very big one at Panchkula but the key for me would be playing well on the first four holes and making inroads on that stretch because the following holes do provide scoring opportunities,” he added.

Chandigarh’s Aadil Bedi (71) was tied-6th at 7-under. Yuvraj Singh Sandhu (68) was tied-8th at 6-under, while Amrit Lal (72) was tied-10th at 5-under. Ajeetesh Sandhu (72) was tied-31st at 1-over.

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