TAKE Solutions Masters: Crafty Carballo surges to the top

Miguel Carballo struck a four-under 67 to move to the top of the leaderboard of the TAKE Solutions Masters golf tournament on Saturday.

Miguel Carballo in action during the third round of the TAKE Solutions Masters golf tournament on Saturday.   -  SUDHAKARA JAIN

Argentina’s Miguel Carballo surged to the top of the leaderboard with a four-under 67 third round in the TAKE Solutions Masters golf tournament, at KGA here on Saturday.

Carballo (14-under 199 overall) is one shot clear of the tied-second pair of Thailand’s Danthai Boonma and local lad Khalin Joshi. Boonma, the overnight leader with a five shot advantage, carded a shocking two-over 73.

Khalin, cheered on by a loyal set of supporters on his home course, celebrated his 26th birthday with a seven-under 64.

Round two report: Danthai Boonma takes sole lead in second round

Carballo, who played a mix of PGA Tour and Web.com Tour events between 2014 to 2017, stated, “Boonma made an easy birdie on the first hole, but I told myself to just play my own game.”

Carballo only recently moved to the Asian Tour, a decision he took because he wanted to “experience new culture, new countries and new people”.

It also helps that the competition in Asian Tour events is not as strong as what he faced in North America. “It is easier to win money on the Asian Tour. Living expenses in Asia are lower too. The prize money on the PGA Tour is higher, but it is difficult to finish in the winner’s bracket there,” Carballo stated.

For Khalin (13-under 200), a good show on Sunday could see him win his first title on the Tour. “Before the tournament began, I had set myself a target of 20-under. So I need a seven-under tomorrow. (Fellow Indian pro) Shubhankar (Sharma) told me that if I shoot a 20-under, I will win," Khalin said, after his bogey-free round.

Round one report: Thammanoon Sriroj clinches the lead

The loudest applause of the day was reserved for Khalin’s playing partner Honey Baisoya, who made a hole-in-one on the par-3 eighth hole. “I was playing the practice round with Khalin and he made a hole-in-one on the fourth hole. So I told him that he has to give us a party. And when I made a hole-in-one today, he said that I have to give him a treat. I said we’re even now,” Baisoya said.

The 21-year-old Baisoya used a pitching wedge to ace the short hole. “When the ball went in, I blacked out for a minute. It was the first hole-in-one of my life,” Baisoya said.

Viraj Madappa, who made his professional debut last year, recorded his third straight sub-par round to take tied-fourth, alongside Bengaluru golfer S. Chikkarangappa.

The scores (top six):
199: Miguel Carballo (Arg) (66, 66, 67);
200: Khalin Joshi (67, 69, 64), Danthai Boonma (Tha) (66, 61, 73);
201: Viraj Madappa  (70, 65, 66), S. Chikkarangappa (69, 64, 68);
202: Miguel Tabuena (Phi) (69, 68, 65), Maverick Antcliff (Aus) (67, 65, 70), SSP Chawrasia  (69, 65, 68), Honey Baisoya  (70, 66, 66), Scott Vincent (66, 71, 65).