Chattogram Open: Kshitij Naveed Kaul powers ahead by five shots in third round

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India’s Kshitij Naveed Kaul rode on a brilliant five-under 67 to power ahead by five shots after the third round of the Mujib Borsho Chattogram Open 2022 at the Bhatiary Golf & Country Club here on Friday.

Kaul (71-63-67), who had posted a 63, the tournament’s best score so far, in round two, to move into second place, made further gains on day three with seven birdies and two bogeys to take a commanding lead at a total of 15-under 201 in the INR 50 lakh event.

Chiragh Kumar (71-69-66) of India struck a 66 to move up five places into joint second at 10-under 206. The two other players in the tied second sport were the Bangladeshi duo of Md Siddikur Rahman (71-66-69), who gained two spots, as well as overnight leader Md Akbar Hossain (67-66-73).

Kaul, a two-time PGTI winner who was one shot off the lead after round two, had a quiet start on Friday with five pars and a bogey on the first six holes. Kaul, fresh from a top-10 in Ahmedabad last week, got his round going with a birdie on the seventh thanks to a precise tee shot and a 10-feet conversion. Kaul then came up with a flurry of good chip-putts for birdies on the eighth, 10th, 11th and pars on the 12th and 13th.

The 21-year-old Kaul’s terrific hitting off the tee and accurate approach shots earned him three more birdies on the 14th, 17th and 18th in exchange for a bogey on the 15th as he emerged as the top contender for the title.

Asian Tour winner Chiragh Kumar, lying overnight tied seventh, had an early bogey on the third but soon rallied with an eagle on the fourth where he had a great tee shot and second shot to leave himself a six-feet conversion. Chiragh’s eagle gave him the much-needed momentum shift and helped him add five more birdies thereafter.

Two-time Asian Tour winner and Bangladesh’s premier golfer Md Siddikur Rahman, who was overnight fourth, shot a 69 featuring six birdies and three bogeys to move into tied second place.

Md Akbar Hossain, the leader for the first two days, slipped one spot to tied second as a result of his round of 73.

India’s Divesh Rana, one of only five players to shoot three sub-par rounds so far this week, returned a 69 to occupy a fifth place at nine-under 207.

Bangladesh’s Md Zamal Hossain Mollah fired the day’s best score of 65 to move into tied eighth place at seven-under 209.

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