Late flourish by Kaul and Das gives them the joint third round lead at Pune Open Golf Championship
A few new names emerged as contenders as there was a major churning on the leader board in round three of Pune Open Golf Championship 2019 at the Poona Club Golf Course on Thursday.
New Delhi-based rookie teenager Kshitij Naveed Kaul (66) and seasoned Shankar Das (67) from Kolkata, a previous winner at the Poona Club Golf Course, enjoyed late flourishes to move into the joint lead at 11 under-202.
Pravin Pathare’s round of 69 placed him as the highest ranked Pune golfer at tied 25th.
Panchkula-based Angad Cheema too made gains to end the day in third place at 10-under-203 at the ~30 lakh-event.
Delhi’s Kapil Kumar equalled the course record with a phenomenal eight-under-63 to jump from overnight tied 35th to tied 10th at six-under-207.
Eighteen-year-old Kshitij Naveed Kaul (69-67-66), lying tied fifth and two off the lead at the halfway stage, moved up four spots in round three to stake his claim for a maiden title.
Kaul made a slow start on Thursday with a bogey on second. He managed to pull one back before the turn as he chipped in for birdie on the eighth.
Kaul was, then, on fire on the back-nine as he produced five birdies on the last six holes with three of them coming as a result of conversions from a range of 15 to 35 feet.
“My approach shots and putting helped me score well today. I had a slow start, but I more than made up on the back-nine. Even though it’s my rookie season on the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI), but I feel I’ve now settled down well and am not overawed by situations,” said Kaul.
Shankar Das (68-67-67), lying one off the lead in fourth at the halfway stage, also enjoyed a late surge like Kaul.
Das made pars all the way till the 13th before picking up four shots on the last five holes.
Das, a seven-time winner on the PGTI, birdied the 14th and 15th and then sank a
brilliant 15-footer for an eagle on the 18th.
Shankar, who won his last title in 2017, said, “I began well as I missed out on a birdie by a whisker on the first where my bunker shot just touched the hole and went past. At that point, I knew I would have a good round. The final stretch was just incredible and gave me loads of confidence. I now go into the last round with good memories of having won at this venue back in 2011.”