Veer Ahlawat leads, but only just with 18 holes to go at Pune Open

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Veer Ahlawat - TheGolfingHub
Veer Ahlawat in action during Round 3 of the Pune Open on Friday. Photo: PGTI

A confident five-under 61 despite a double bogey on the 17th hole saw Veer Ahlawat power his way up to the pole position after the completion of Round 3 of the Pune Open  with an overall score of 15-Under 183.

Veer is now one shot clear of overnight leader and second placed Kapil Kumar, who carded a three-under 63.

Related: Veer’s sparkling golf lights up gloomy Pune

Ajeetesh Sandhu along with Sri Lankan N Thangaraja were tied third with identical overall scores of 13-Under 185. However, it was Rashid Khan who stole the show carding the day’s best round of nine-under 57 to jump 32 spots to be tied fifth with Ajeetesh with identical overall scores of 11-Under 187.

 

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Pune has been experiencing heavy rains for the last few days as a result of which some stretches at the Poona Club Golf Course were water logged. Thus, Hole No. 5 was reduced from a Par-4 to a Par-3 and Hole No. 6 was not played. Therefore, 17 holes constituted round three and the par for the course in round three was 66 instead of the regular 71.

Veer’s first birdie came on the second hole but that was soon nullified with a bogey immediately after. Veer thereafter hit a purple patch with birdie on the seventh hole and four back-to-back birdies on the ninth, 10th, 11th and 12th.

His next two birdies for the day came on the 15th and 18th holes. Veer would have had a comfortable cushion over second placed Kapil if not for the double bogey on the 17th hole that only gave him a single stroke lead at the top with an overall score of 15-Under 183.

 

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“I was level par after the 6th and was playing steady. However, the birdies on the 7th and 9th helped me gain confidence and continue with the momentum for the next three holes. The double bogey on the 17th was just unfortunate, but the birdies on the 15th and 18th holes kept me in business. I am happy with my game and I think I am playing good golf. I think the course is playing very scoring and my objective for tomorrow will be to stick to the basics with the aim to score better than today,” said Veer.

Overnight leader Kapil had a sedate round and slipped a position on the leaderboard to be placed second with an overall score of 14-Under 184. Kapil who started off on the back of error free rounds on days 1 & 2, struggled on the 16th hole to card his only bogey of the tournament so far. Kapil’s four birdies came on the 12th, 15th, 17th and 18th holes.

Rashid went all guns blazing in round 3 with a fantastic nine-under 57, the day’s best figures to jump his way up into contention at tied fifth.

 

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Rashid’s round was error free and included four birdies on the back nine (after teeing-off from the 10th Tee) on the 10th, 12th, 17th and 18th holes. Once he took the turn, he was on fire carding five birdies on the first, third, fifth, seventh and ninth holes.

“I started from the back nine and made two birdies from tough spots on the 10th and 12th holes. That gave me a lot of confidence and I then looked for a score of seven to eight under. I am happy that I could actualize my plans as my wedge shots and chip-putts were very good today,” said Rashid.

Another impressive performance came from Pukhraj Singh Gill who carded a seven-Under 59 with the help of two eagles on the 12th and 15th holes to be tied seventh with Kartik Sharma with identical overall scores of 10-Under 188.