Ahmedabad: The Delhi duo of Rashid Khan (34-35-68) and Kshitij Naveed Kaul (33-35-69) moved into the joint lead at a total of seven-under 137 in the penultimate round of the Ahmedabad Open 2023 presented by Glade One, a Rs. 1 crore event being played at the Glade One Golf Resort & Club.
While two-time Asian Tour winner Rashid struck a four-under 68 to jump six spots from his overnight tied seventh position, three-time PGTI winner Kshitij Naveed Kaul shot a three-under 69 to gain one spot from his overnight tied second.
Bangladesh’s Jamal Hossain (69) was one shot behind the lead in third place while 18-year-old rookie Shaurya Binu (71) of Bengaluru and Noida’s Amardeep Malik (71) shared fourth place at five-under 139.
Gurugram’s Veer Ahlawat returned the day’s best score of 67 to occupy tied sixth place at four-under 140.
The first two rounds of the event comprised nine holes each. The third and fourth rounds comprise 18 holes each. The tournament will be played over a total of 54 holes. The par for the course in the third and fourth rounds is 72. The 9-hole course was played twice in round three with different pin positions.
Rashid Khan took advantage of the par-5s scoring birdies on the second, 11th and 14th. The 32-year-old, who was runner-up at an international event in Delhi last month, also sank two long birdie putts on the eighth and 12th, the latter being a 30-footer. Khan, having adjusted well to the green-speed on Friday, dropped only one bogey on the 13th.
Rashid said, “I felt that I gave myself a lot more chances from the fairways today as compared to the first two rounds. I gauged the green-speed better. I knew downhill putts would be tricky so the game plan was to try and land the ball short of the pins and not go over.
“The game has been trending well. I’ve just been working on a few things that I feel are slowly falling into place.”
Kshitij Naveed Kaul’s pin-point approach shots and good putting form saw him accumulate five birdies in exchange for three bogeys. The 22-year-old Kshitij made three birdies on the front-nine by sinking putts from a range of 10 to 20 feet. The highlight of his back-nine was the approach on the 15th that landed four feet from the flag and led to a birdie.
Delhi’s Shamim Khan, the leader in the first two rounds, dropped down to tied eighth at three-under 141 after a third round of 74.
Among the Ahmedabad professionals, Varun Parikh was tied 16th at one-under 143 and Anshul Patel was tied 26th at one-over 145.
Noida-based 15-year-old amateur Aarav D Shah was also placed tied 26th at a total of 145.
Round 3 Leaderboard:
137: Rashid Khan (34-35-68); Kshitij Naveed Kaul (33-35-69)
138: Jamal Hossain (33-36-69)
139: Shaurya Binu (34-34-71); Amardeep Malik (36-32-71)
140: Veer Ahlawat (36-37-67); Kapil Kumar (36-36-68)