PGTI: Shubhankar Sharma shines on day three

After hitting a bit of a speed-bump on the 14th, when he three-putted from just over 25 feet to make bogey, Shubhankar knuckled down to finish with a card of eight-under-64 and a three-round total of 17-under-199 at the Eagleton Golf Resort here on Thursday.

Shubhankar Sharma, who took a three-stroke lead on the penultimate day of the PGTI Players' Championship, at the Eagleton Golf Resort here on Thursday.   -  Shreedutta Chidananda

Shubhankar Sharma reeled off an eagle and three birdies on the final four holes to soar to the top of the leaderboard on the third day of the PGTI Players' Championship.

After hitting a bit of a speed-bump on the 14th, when he three-putted from just over 25 feet to make bogey, Shubhankar knuckled down to finish with a card of eight-under-64 and a three-round total of 17-under-199 at the Eagleton Golf Resort here on Thursday.

Going into the final day, the 19-year-old from Gurgaon holds a three-shot advantage over Anura Rohana (202), with the pair of Sujjan Singh and Mukesh Kumar (203) one stroke further away. Khalin Joshi, who was tied for 16th overnight, climbed up to joint fifth after a round of six-under-66.

“This round is special because the conditions were very tough,” said Shubhankar, who was four-under through 10 holes. “It was windy all day. I was putting well, so I was not concerned by the bogey. I told myself: 'Don't get angry, finish well.”

And finish well he did. On the 15th, Shubhankar drained a 12-foot putt for eagle, and on the next hole a 13-footer for birdie. His eagle putt lipped out on the 17th, before he returned to the clubhouse having set up and converted an eight-foot birdie putt on the final hole.

Rohana, who was four shots off the lead overnight, made the one bogey — also on the par-three 14th — in an otherwise flawless round. “I kept the errors out of my game today,” the Sri Lankan said later. “The putts were rolling in; that was the difference.”

Mukesh, leader overnight, had a relatively uneventful day, making two birdies and a bogey, while Sujjan, who at one point in the afternoon had seemed on a roll, was set back by a double-bogey on the 13th. S. Chikkarangappa (208), meanwhile, slipped to tied ninth after shooting 71.

The scores (top eight after three rounds): 199: Shubhankar Sharma (65, 70, 64); 202: Anura Rohana (68, 68, 66); 203: Sujjan Singh (68, 65, 70), Mukesh Kumar (64, 68, 71); 205: Khalin Joshi (71, 68, 66), Vikrant Chopra (73, 64, 68), Kapil Kumar (67, 67, 71); 207: Shamim Khan (68, 66, 73).