Chikkarangappa moves to tied sixth, Suri slips to share lead with Shinkwin

Tied with four others at 210, Chikkarangappa, the highest-placed Indian was still five strokes off the lead but kept alive some home interest in Sunday’s title-race of the $1.75 million Hero Indian Open at the DLF Golf and Country Club.

S. Chikkarangappa produced the day’s best six-under 66 and jumped to the joint sixth spot.   -  Special Arrangement

Just when the focus was on the more illustrious names, S. Chikkarangappa produced the day’s best six-under 66 and jumped to the joint sixth spot.

Tied with four others at 210, this highest-placed Indian was still five strokes off the lead but kept alive some home interest in Sunday’s title-race of the $1.75 million Hero Indian Open at the DLF Golf and Country Club.

Atop the leaderboard all day, overnight leader Julian Suri eventually had to share the lead with England’s Callum Shinkwin after tossing away a two-stroke cushion following a final-hole double-bogey.

The leaders were two strokes ahead of Japan’s Masahiro Kawamura and three in front of first-day joint leader Stephen Gallacher.

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Reflecting on his play, particularly the ‘double’ on the 18th, Suri said, “That was quite a long wait on the 18th tee-box. No excuses. Totally my fault and I need to compose myself better."

For Chikkarangappa to have a realistic shot at the title, he will have to not only produce another scintillating round on a very challenging course but also hope that Suri and Shinkwin falter dramatically.

Shubhankar Sharma, the best Indian on view on the first two days, overcame an early double-bogey for a 71 that put him three shots behind Chikkarangappa.

Nothwithstanding a final-hole bogey, Chikkarangappa was pleased with his effort.

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“A birdie-birdie start gave me a good momentum. Overall, I hit the ball great. I hit almost every green in regulation. I made some solid putts. Seven birdies and one bogey, I’ll take that on this course, any day. My best round on this course almost feels like a course record,” said the soft-spoken pro from Bengaluru.

Elaborating on his only bogey, Chikkarangappa said, “After a good 5-iron on the 17th hole, I guess, I was too pumped up. (On the 18th) I hit the ball too far, and landed in the rough. I laid up and then hit a good chip. Think I will take that, it wasn’t even a mistake really.”
 

Leading scores:

205 - Julian Suri (US) (67, 67, 71), Callum Shinkwin (Eng) (72, 65, 68); 207 - Masahiro Kawamura (Jpn) (69, 70, 68); 208 - Stephen Galacher (Sco) (67, 74, 67); 209 - Robert Karlsson (Swe) (68, 68, 73).

Indians: 210 - S. Chikkarangappa (74, 70, 66); 213 - Shubhankar Sharma (69, 73, 71); 214 - Rashid Khan (72, 70, 72); 217 - S. S. P. Chawrasia (74, 72, 71), 218 - Ajeetesh Sandhu (74, 71, 73), 219 - Gaurav Pratap Singh (73, 73, 73), 220 - Gaganjeet Bhullar (72, 74, 74) and 221 - Rahil Gangjee (70, 74, 77).