| India’s Jyoti Randhawa lines up for a putt during the third round of the Indian Open in New Delhi on Saturday. (AFP)
New Delhi, March 29 (PTI): Jyoti Randhawa shot an impressive five-under 67 in the third round on Saturday to tally a 12-under 204 and surge ahead of the troika of overnight leaders in the $300,000 Royal Challenge Indian Open golf championship here.
Randhawa, the 2002 Asian PGA Order of Merit leader who was placed joint fourth with a day two card of 71, is now one stroke ahead of Australian Adam Groom who carded a three-under 69. Groom was in joint lead along with Myanmar’s Zaw Moe and South African James Kingston going into the third round.
Moe shot a two-under to be placed joint third along with Rick Gibson (69) and Mike Cunning (68) of the US on 206. Kingston (71) was close on their heels at joint sixth on 207.
Without a doubt, the hero of the day was local favourite Randhawa who brought back the smiles at the historic Delhi Golf Club course.
Randhawa today exploited his familiarity with the course to give himself the cushion of a one-stroke lead going into the fourth and final round on Sunday.
Randhawa, who has brother Bunty for a caddy, said he was thrilled by his performance on Saturday, as he had not been on the top of his game for quite some time.
Randhawa, who had bogeys on the 4th and 11th, said it would be wrong to write off fellow APGA star Arjun Atwal, as a golfer of his class could bounce into the reckoning any time.
Atwal, fresh from his victory in the Carlsberg Malaysian Open in February, was placed joint eighth after the third round though he returned the same card as Randhawa today. His first two rounds, which were not relatively good — he shot 69 and 72 — pulled him down.
Atwal’s card of 67 had as many as eight birdies and could have had a really good score had he not had a triple bogey on the 16th hole in his back nine.