Jamal Hossain stays on top after steady third round 69, maintains two-shot lead

Jamal Hossain stays on top after steady third round 69, maintains two-shot lead
Bangladesh’s Jamal Hossain maintained his two-shot lead after signing for a steady three-under 69 in round three of the Rs. 1 crore TATA Steel PGTI Players Championship 2023 presented by Chandigarh Golf Club. Dhaka lad Jamal (70-67-69), the overnight leader by two shots, was thus well-placed for a shot at his fourth PGTI title as his total moved to 10-under 206. Faridabad’s Karan Pratap Singh (70-70-68), the runner-up in Noida last week, continued his fine form by posting the day’s best score of 68 and moving up four spots to second position at eight-under 208. The 38-year-old Jamal, who won his last PGTI event in 2019, was off to a sizzling start thanks to his three birdies on the first five holes where he came up with some brilliant chips including a chip-in from the bunker on the fifth. Jamal sank an 18-footer to pick up his fourth birdie of the day on the 12th. Thereafter, with fewer regulations and the putter going cold, Hossain had a dry spell till the end as he dropped a bogey on the 14th and made pars on the rest of the holes. Jamal, runner-up at last year’s edition of the TATA Steel PGTI Players Championship at Chandigarh Golf Club, said, “I was off to a great start that finally helped me hold on to my advantage. I came up with some tremendous wedge shots and an accurate tee shot on the opening stretch. But I lost my momentum somewhere in the middle with a couple of near misses for birdies. I then struck it well on the back-nine but the putts didn’t fall for me there. “In the final round, my approach will be to play percentage golf as I’ll look to find fairways and make regulations. If the birdies don’t come my way, the plan will be to make as many pars as possible and let the others try to catch up with me.” Karan Pratap Singh, lying overnight tied sixth and three off the lead, made seven birdies and three bogeys for his 68 that moved him into contention on Friday. He fired his approach within a couple of feet of the pin on the 18th to end the day with a tap-in birdie. Chandigarh’s Harendra Gupta (70) kept local hopes alive as he closed the day in tied third place at seven-under 209 along with Delhi’s Kapil Kumar (69) and Greater Noida’s Arjun Sharma (70). The Chandigarh duo of Jairaj Singh Sandhu (68) and Angad Cheema (71) were also inside the top-10. While southpaw Jairaj matched the day’s best of 68 to be tied sixth at six-under 210, Angad was in tied eighth place at five-under 211. Faridabad’s Abhinav Lohan was the third player to shoot a 68, the day’s lowest, on Friday. He too was tied for eighth. Round 3 Leaderboard: 206: Jamal Hossain (70-67-69) 208: Karan Pratap Singh (70-70-68) 209: Kapil Kumar (72-68-69), Harendra Gupta (69-70-70), Arjun Sharma (71-68-70)

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