Following contrasting performances on Saturday, new front-runner Rashid Khan dethroned leader S. Chikkarangappa and gate-crasher Honey Baisoya kept alive prospects of a home-grown champion at the $750,000 DGC Open on Sunday.
Rashid started with a double-bogey to trail Chikkarangappa by five shots but ended the day three shots ahead after a four-under 68 kept him at 11-under 205.
On a day when play was interrupted and suspended briefly due to inclement weather, Rashid twice found the bushes on the opening hole. After taking a penalty drop, Rashid missed a bogey-putt from under five feet on the par-5 hole. But thereafter, Rashid did not put a foot wrong.
He birdied the second, fourth, fifth and seventh holes to put the pressure back on Chikkarangappa who dropped a shot on the third and held par right through the front-nine. At the turn, the players were level at nine-under where they were temporarily joined by Nirat Chapchai but the Thai soon lost his way on the back-nine.
Rashid moved into the lead at 10-under on the 11th hole, doubled his lead on the 14th hole and enlarged it to three strokes when a luckless Chikkarangappa bogeyed the 15th. Having recovered well to save some pars, Rashid played to par on the last four holes.
A startling fact was, Chikkarangappa remained birdie-less even after reaching 14 greens in regulation. In contrast, Baisoya fired seven birdies after hitting all 18 greens in regulation.
After three birdies on the front-nine, Baisoya found four more for a bogey-free 65 - the day’s best.
Chapchai had a mixed round. After a flawless 32 on the opening nine holes, Chapchai had a double-bogey, three bogeys and two birdies for a back-nine 39.
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