PGTI Eagleburg Masters: Rahil Gangjee snatches lead

Gangjee, who shifted base to Bengaluru from Kolkata six months ago, started off with a birdie on the first hole. He drained some long birdie putts in the afternoon — two from 30 feet on six and eight, and another curling effort from 15 feet on the back nine.

Rahil Gangjee PGTI Eagleburg Masters Chikkarangappa

Rahil Gangjee finished with a three-round total of 11-under-205, with Chikkarangappa and M. Dharma (206) tied for second. Shankar Das was one shot further behind.   -  Shreedutta Chidananda

Rahil Gangjee snatched a one-stroke lead after shooting a bogey-free seven-under-65 on the third day of the PGTI Eagleburg Masters. The 38-year-old climbed to the top of the leaderboard after S. Chikkarangappa made a hat-trick of bogeys on the last three holes at the Eagleton Golf Resort here on Thursday. Gangjee finished with a three-round total of 11-under-205, with Chikkarangappa and M. Dharma (206) tied for second. Shankar Das was one shot further behind.

Gangjee, who shifted base to Bengaluru from Kolkata six months ago, started off with a birdie on the first hole. He drained some long birdie putts in the afternoon — two from 30 feet on six and eight, and another curling effort from 15 feet on the back nine. Gangjee was especially pleased with his birdie on the 10th, where with one foot planted inside the bunker and another outside, he landed the ball within an inch of the pin. "The move to Bengaluru has helped me a lot," he said later. "Some of the courses have given me playing rights. The weather is great and I also get to play with some of the top professionals."

Chikkarangappa endured another frustrating day with the putter, the bogeys on the last three holes leaving him with a card of two-under-70 for the round. "I have missed seven or eight putts from two feet this week. Putts that should be going in are not. I just don't know what's happening," he despaired. "Tomorrow, I just have to hole some putts early."

Meanwhile, Dharma, the first-round leader, recovered from a poor second day (73) to shoot four-under-68. He will fancy his chances of victory, but it will take some effort to beat Chikkarangappa on Friday. The home favourite is just where he loves to be going into final rounds: breathing down the leader's neck.

The scores (top eight after three rounds): 205: Rahil Gangjee (68, 72, 65); 206: M. Dharma (65, 73, 68), S. Chikkarangappa (67, 69, 70); 207: Shankar Das (66, 72, 69); 208: Shamim Khan, Abhinav Lohan (72, 65, 71); 209: Ranjit Singh (69, 73, 67), Khalin Joshi (67, 69, 73).