GURUGRAM : After lightning and rain on the first two days, bad light stopped several players from completing their third rounds at the Indian Open on Saturday. SSP Chawrasia was in joint lead at six-under, alongside England’s Eddie Pepperell and Spain’s Carlos Pigem. All three have played 11 holes in the third round.
Of the 69 who made the cut in the country’s biggest golf championship, 42 were still to complete the third round, which means a majority will be playing more than 18 holes on Sunday. Fifteen of 41 Indians made the cut applied at six-over. Only Chawrasia is in the top 10.
In danger of missing the cut early on in the tournament, Anirban Lahiri made it to the business end with a second round of one-over 73. Following a three-under over 16 holes in the third round, he was second best among Indians at tied 19th with two-over. Chiragh Kumar and Shubhankar Sharma were a stroke behind on tied 24th after completed rounds of one-under each.
Defending champion Chawrasia, who played a flawless and bogey-free five-under in the second round, started his third round with a bogey on the par-four second hole. Birdies on the fourth and ninth brought him back for a share of the lead.
Happy with his work at the Gary Player Course, the Kolkata pro feels a little disturbed with the stop-start forced by the elements.
“On this course, a few misses on the green are bound to happen, but one can’t think about them. On the sixth, I had a long par putt and I holed it after coming out of the bunker. The key is not to give away loose shots. Birdies are difficult to find and require a lot of hard work, so to give away a bogey is painful,” said Chawrasia.
Tied sixth overnight, Pigem hit five birdies with one bogey in his 11 holes to join the leading pack. Pepperell had a round of one-under. Danny Chia, joint leader after the second round, slipped to tied 12th with a horrendous five-over after 11 holes. Gavin Green of Malaysia was the biggest mover of the day, going six-under in 17 holes to move to joint fourth, a stroke behind the leaders.
India’s Shamim Khan was tied 36th, Digvijay Singh and Arjun Atwal were tied 44th. Jyoti Randhawa, S Chikkarangappa and Abhijit Chadha were tied 49th. Shiv Kapur, Rahil Gangjee, Jeev Milkha Singh missed the cut, as did former champions C Muniyappa and Feroz Ali.