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Randhawa shoots into lead at Indian Open
Abhaya Srivastava in New Delhi | March 29, 2003 22:09 IST
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 overnight leaders in the $300,000 Royal Challenge Indian Open Golf Championship in New Delhi.
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 on Saturday. Going into the third round, Groom was in joint lead along with Myanmar's Zaw Moe and South African James Kingston.
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.
The hero of the day was undoubtedly Randhawa, who started the day with an eagle. He rediscovered his love for the Delhi Golf Club greens and staked his claim for the Indian Open title, which he had won in 2000.
Having won two of the Hero Honda Masters title at this venue, Randhawa on Saturday 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.
"It is a tough course. But somehow it works for me," the Delhi golfer said while admitting that he did not really "expect to finish the day so strongly".
"I hope I play a solid round tomorrow, but I will not take anything easy because a single hole can change the whole scenario," said Randhawa, who had birdies on the 8th, 14th, 15th, 17th and 18th holes.
Randhawa, who had bogeys on the 4th and 11th holes, said it would be a fallacy to write off fellow APGA star Arjun Atwal.
Atwal, fresh from his victory in the Carlsberg Malaysian Open in February, was placed joint eighth after the third round despite returning the same card as Randhawa on Saturday. He had shot 69 and 72 in his first two rounds.
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.