Delhi-NCR Open: Gandas, Malik tied for lead

Manu Gandas and Amardeep Malik continue to be the top title contenders; they have a four-shot advantage over the rest of the field with a round to go.

Amardeep Malik tees off during the third round of golf on Thursday. - SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Manu Gandas and Amardeep Malik continued to be the top title contenders for the third day running at the Delhi-NCR Open here on Thursday.

On a day that was a lot cooler due to overcast conditions but windier than the previous two days, Gandas (65-69-67) and Malik (65-67-69) were tied for the third-round lead at 15-under 201 with a four-shot advantage over the rest of the field. While Gandas struck a determined five-under 67 to climb up one spot and join Malik in the lead once again after round one, Malik produced a fine three-under 69 to be at the top of the leaderboard for the third day in succession.

A fascinating finale awaits as Gandas has been in great form. He has a win and two other top-10s this season to be placed fifth on the PGTI Order of Merit, while Malik enjoys the advantage of playing at his home course where he has won both his previous titles. Bangladesh’s Md Zamal Hossain Mollah (69) occupies third place at 11-under 205.

REPORT - ROUND TWO

Angad Cheema carded the day’s lowest score of 66 to end in fourth place at 10-under 206. Vikrant Chopra, too, returned a 66 to be placed tied sixth at eight-under 208.

Gandas, a two-time winner on the PGTI, was struggling to read the greens early in the round. He missed short putts on the first three holes that also led to a bogey on the third. However, the 26-year-old Gandas quickly addressed the issue and found the hole for his three birdies that followed on the front-nine.

Gandas brought his chipping into the game on the back-nine where his chip shots were instrumental in earning him three more birdies and two important par-saves. Malik, the overnight sole leader by two shots, mixed five birdies with two bogeys.

The 36-year-old Malik capitalised on three of the four par-5s, chipped-in for birdie on the 10th and landed his approach within a foot for a tap-in birdie on the 12th. Malik’s long-range birdie putts narrowly missed the pins on the last two holes.

Chandigarh’s Abhijit Singh Chadha (72) was in fifth place at nine-under 207.

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