Indian golfer S. Chikkarangappa was back in the reckoning for a Top 10 finish as he carded an even par 72 at the end of the third round of the Mercuries Taiwan Masters here on Saturday.
Chikka is now one-over 217 and Tied-11th but only five shots behind the leader, Panuphol Pittayarat (74) who had a rough round in blustery conditions under swirling winds with speed of 30 km/h. Himmat Rai (70) and Chiragh Kumar (73) made smart upward moves to Tied-19th from Tied-42nd and T-28th. Also moving up was Shubhankar Sharma (74) to Tied-24th, up from Tied-32nd.
Chikka started the day with a string of eight pars before sinking his first birdie. But three bogeys between 10th and 13th set him back sharply before birdies on 15th and 18th gave him another lease of life. Himmat had six birdies including four on front nine with a double on 10th. But what hit him hard was a bogey-bogey finish.
Panphol battled tooth-and-nail to return on four-under-par 212 to hold a one-shot advantage at the USD 800,000 Asian Tour event which is celebrating its 30th edition.
Home favourite Lu Wei-chih carded a 71 for second place as he aims to return to winning ways on the Asian Tour since undergoing brain surgery to remove a non-malignant tumour in mid-2012.
Malaysia’s Nicholas Fung (71), Lin Wen-tang (74) of Chinese Taipei, Danthai Boonma (74) of Thailand and Miguel Tabuena (74) of the Philippines are a further shot back in tied third place on 214 at the Taiwan Golf and Country Club.
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