On a foggy day, Thailand’s Pariya Junhasavasdikul regained sole lead in the third round of the McLeod Russel Tour Championship at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club with a four-under-68. He totalled 14-under-202 after the penultimate round to enjoy a two-shot lead over Rashid Khan.
Rashid stayed in touch with the leader after a third round of two-under-70 to be 12-under-204.
SSP Chawrasia came up with a third round of three-under-69 to lurk in third place at nine-under-207 and remain in contention. PGTI order of merit leader Shubhankar Sharma (70) was a further shot behind in fourth place.
Pariya was off to an explosive start, courtesy a hot putter. He birdied the first three holes with conversions from a range of 10-30 feet. He added another on the eighth to make the turn at four-under.
He then had a quiet spell till the 14th before an excellent recovery from the bunker and a 12-feet conversion helped him pick up his fifth birdie of the day on the 15th. His only blemish was the bogey on 16th where he missed an up and down from 50 yards.
Rashid slipped one position to second after mixing four birdies with two bogeys on Friday. Rashid had a 20-feet birdie on the fifth but also missed out on a 20-feet par putt on the last hole that pushed him two back. Chawrasia improved his position marginally as he closed the day in sole third.
As things stand, Shubhankar is expected to win the order of merit. Gaganjeet Bhullar (seven-under 209), Khalin Joshi (six-under 210) and Shiv Kapur (five-under 211) occupied the fifth, sixth and seventh places respectively.
Jyoti Randhawa and rookie Aman Raj were joint 10th at three-under 213. Aman is expected to end up with the highest earnings among the rookies and as a result win the PGTI Emerging Player of the Year title. Jeev Milkha Singh and Mukesh Kumar were a further shot back in tied 13th.
202: Pariya Junhasavasdikul 66-68-68
204: Rashid Khan 70-64-70
207: SSP Chawrasia 70-68-69
208: Shubhankar Sharma 70-68-70
209: Gaganjeet Bhullar 71-68-70