CG Open: Dharma edges ahead on penultimate day

Dharma’s total score was 11-under-199 which was one stroke better than Delhi’s Ashok Kumar and Vijay Kumar of Lucknow who shot the week’s joint best score of eight-under-62 to be tied in second place going into the final round tomorrow.

Round one leader Udayan Mane of Bengaluru will be another challenger on the final day as he occupies fourth place at nine-under-201 thanks to his third round of 66 today.   -  Reuters

Bengaluru’s M Dharma put himself in position for a second title as his seven-under-63 handed him a one-shot lead in the penultimate round three of the rupees one crore CG Open Golf Championship today.

Dharma’s total score was 11-under-199 which was one stroke better than Delhi’s Ashok Kumar and Vijay Kumar of Lucknow who shot the week’s joint best score of eight-under-62 to be tied in second place going into the final round tomorrow.

Round one leader Udayan Mane of Bengaluru will be another challenger on the final day as he occupies fourth place at nine-under-201 thanks to his third round of 66 today.

Four players, the Chandigarh duo of Ajeetesh Sandhu and Sujjan Singh, Om Prakash Chouhan of Mhow and round two joint leader Mandeo Singh Pathania of Greater Noida were bunched together in tied fifth at eight-under-202.

Ajeetesh Sandhu also shot the week’s best of 62 courtesy a chip-in eagle, seven birdies and a bogey.

Overnight joint leader, Chandigarh’s Abhijit Singh Chadha, slipped to tied 22nd at three-under-207 after a poor third round of 74.

Dharma (69-67-63), who started the day in tied 11th, zoomed to the top of the pack with eight birdies and a solitary bogey. He was poised to win his second title after clinching his first two years back in Jamshedpur.

“I’m extremely pleased with today’s effort. My ball-striking was the highlight of the round as I landed so many shots close to the pin. I followed my routine and placed the ball really well for my approach shots. I capitalised on three out of the four par-fives with birdies,” he said.

“I was particularly thrilled about making a fantastic recovery on the par-five fourth. I found the trees on the fourth but still managed to extract a birdie there thanks to a brilliant third shot,” he added.

Dharma, however, is not going to have it easy on day four as the seasoned duo of Ashok Kumar (69-69-62) and Vijay Kumar (70-68-62) lie just one shot behind him at 10-under-200.

Ashok and Vijay, playing partners in round three, fired bogey-free rounds of eight-under-62 each, the week’s best score, to climb from tied 19th to tied second.