Jammu: TATA Steel PGTI Ranking leader Om Prakash Chouhan of Mhow, Madhya Pradesh, fired a five-under 67, the day’s lowest round, to move into a one-shot lead in round three at a total of eight-under 208 and announce himself as a leading contender at the J&K Open 2023 presented by J&K Tourism being played at the Jammu Tawi Golf Course (JTGC).
Delhi’s Kapil Kumar, the overnight leader, carded a 72 to keep himself in contention as he was placed second at seven-under 209 at the Rs. 50 lakh event.
Gurugram’s Manav Bais (68) and Chandigarh’s Akshay Sharma (72), placed tied third at five-under 211 as well as Gurugram-based Shivendra Singh Sisodia who matched the day’s best of 67 and was placed fifth at four-under 212, are also likely to be among the contenders on the final day.
Om Prakash Chouhan (71-70-67), who was four off the lead and in fourth place at the halfway stage, delivered an error-free round to rise up the leaderboard on Friday thanks to his terrific driving and tee shots. Chouhan, winner of an international event (Challenge Tour) earlier this year, found all the fairways on day three and left himself 10 feet conversions on four out of his five birdies.
The 33-year-old Om Prakash, who has been based in Ahmedabad for the last couple of years, said, “My driving was the best part of my game today. However, I did struggle a bit with my putting. A bogey-free round going into the final day always adds to the confidence. In the last few events, I’ve produced my best on the last two days. I want to continue that trend.
“My good driving and approach shots helped me create a lot of birdie chances today. With the fairways being narrow here at JTGC, hitting the fairways almost always means that you have ensured a par. That’s what I managed to do well today.
“I’ll now focus on improving my putting in the final round as it’s been a little inconsistent. I’ll look to play my natural game and not try too hard as sometimes in the last round I try a bit too hard and that doesn’t serve me well.”
Kapil Kumar (69-68-72) conceded his lead as a result of his sedate 72 that featured four birdies and four bogeys.
Round 3 Leaderboard:
208: Om Prakash Chouhan (71-70-67)
209: Kapil Kumar (69-68-72)
211: Manav Bais (73-70-68); Akshay Sharma (68-71-72)