Saqib holds slender lead over Dharma in Jaipur Open Golf

Jaipur Open's final day could witness a tussle between Syed Saqib Ahmed and M. Dharma as the two ended the penultimate evening with just one shot separating them.

Syed Saqib Ahmed, who had equalled the week’s lowest score of 61 on day two, entered the third round with an overnight three-shot lead (File Photo).   -  G P Sampath Kumar

Bengaluru’s Syed Saqib Ahmed carded a stoic two-under-68 to lead by one shot after the third round of the TATA Steel PGTI’s Jaipur Open at the Rambagh Golf Club here on Thursday.

While Saqib took his total to 17-under-193, M. Dharma returned a gutsy five-under-65 to aggregate 16-under-194 at the Rs. 30 lakh event.

Gurugram-based rookie Priyanshu Singh’s round of 63 placed him third at 14-under-196.

Chandigarh’s Abhijit Singh Chadha, an Asian Tour regular, fired the day’s best score, a flawless 62, to be in tied seventh place at 12-under-198.

READ| Saqib fires 61 to take three-shot lead in Jaipur Open

Saqib, who had equalled the week’s lowest score of 61 on day two, entered the third round with an overnight three-shot lead.

On Thursday, he sank three birdies including a chip-in on the sixth. With his lead increasing to four shots at the turn, Saqib seemed to be on course to take total control on day three.

However, Saqib couldn’t push ahead on the back-nine as the birdies dried up for him. The 25-year-old, who won his only event on the PGTI in February 2018, ended up dropping a bogey on the 17th to close the day with just a one-shot advantage.

Ludhiana’s Pukhraj Singh Gill (66), Kolkata’s Divyanshu Bajaj (67) and Gurugram-based Abhinav Lohan (69), were all in tied fourth at 13-under-197.

Defending champion Aman Raj (65) of Patna was placed tied 10th at 11-under-199 while PGTI Order of Merit leader Rashid Khan (65) of Delhi occupied tied 23rd place at eight-under-202.