Ahlawat takes two-shot lead

Aman slips to second; two eagles push Mari Muthu to third

Veer Ahlawat opened up a two-shot lead after the third round of the Tata Steel PGTI Players’ Championship here on Thursday.

The Gurgaon professional returned a card of seven-under 65 for the second straight day — a total of 19-under 197 — at the Eagleton Golf Resort.

Aman Raj (199), who had shared the lead overnight, shot a five-under 67 to slip two strokes behind the leader. Mari Muthu (201), who sank two eagles in his round of 66, was third while Udayan Mane (202) climbed to fourth. Bengaluru’s S. Chikkarangappa (203) moved up four places to fifth.

Aditya’s distinction

Aditya Raj Kumar Chauhan, meanwhile, became the first player on the PGTI to achieve the feat of making consecutive eagles. He closed the day tied-16 at six-under 210.

Ahlawat made three birdies and an eagle on the first 10 holes. Bogeys on the 11th and 14th slowed him down, but the 23-year-old signed off with a hat-trick of birdies on the final three holes.

“I was hitting pretty solid and whatever birdies I made were within 10 feet. My short-iron and wedge shots were quite accurate today. It’s now about driving home the advantage. I will play it hole by hole and not think too far ahead,” he said.

Shubhankar tied 32nd

Shubhankar Sharma produced a round of 72 to occupy the tied 32nd spot.

Top scores (after round three): 197: Veer Ahlawat (67, 65, 65); 199: Aman Raj (65, 67, 67); 201: Mari Muthu (68, 67, 66); 202: Udayan Mane (68, 67, 67); 203: S. Chikkarangappa (67, 69, 67); 204: Gaurav Pratap Singh (70, 64, 70); 205: Khalin Joshi (69, 64, 72).

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