Chowrasia, Sujjan one shot off the lead at Avantha Masters

February 19th, 2011 - 9:42 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 19 (IANS) Spain’s Pablo Larrazabal had a magical eagle three on his closing hole which gave him the lead just ahead of India’s S.S.P Chowrasia after play at the Avantha Masters was suspended due to darkness Saturday.The Spaniard returned with a six-under-par 66 for a three-day total of 11-under-par 205 to take a slender shot lead over Chowrasia and Argentina’s Rafa Echenique who signed for matching 67s. Also at 10-under was another Indian Sujjan Singh (68) who played an error free round of 68 to move into contention in his Rookie Year.

Home favourite Jeev Milkha Singh of India is nine-under-par through 13 holes while Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee is seven-under-par through 13 holes.

A total of 24 players are yet to complete their third round and will resume play at 8am local time Sunday.

Philippines’ Angelo Que posted a 68 to take a share of sixth place alongside Thailand’s Chapchai Nirat, France’s Gregory Havret and Robert-Jan Derksen of the Netherlands on 207 at the DLF Golf and Country Club.

Larrazabal, who came through a 36-hole qualifier and went on to win the Open de France ALSTOM in his Rookie Year in 2008, started his round tied for 15th. He birdied his sixth, eight and nine holes to reach the turn in 33. He added another birdie on the par-four 10th before committing his only blemish on the 12th hole. The Spaniard then birdied the 14th before his eagle brought him to the top.

“It was one of the days where I played nicely. I made some nice par putts at the start of the round and I knew that the birdie chances would come because I was playing well,” said Larrazabal.

“The eagle at the last was the highlight obviously. I hit a nice drive and then got to the ball on the fairway and found it was in an old divot. I had 184 metres to the flag and I thought that I had to hit plenty of club to compensate for the divot. I did that, with a nice faded four -iron into about ten feet and made the putt,” added Larrazabal.

Also at 11-under was Robert Coles, the Englishman, who also had an eagle but on par-4 15th, where he drove the green and sank a 25-foot birdie putt. He still had two more holes to play when darkness descended.

Meanwhile, Chowrasia looked to have regained the form that led him to his first win when he defeated an elite field at the Indian Masters in 2008.

Starting the day tied-for 15th, Chowrasia birdied his opening par-four first. However, he gave that shot back with a bogey on the sixth before hauling himself back into contention with two birdies on holes eighth and nine. He marked his card with another birdie on the par-three 11th before dropping another shot on the 13th hole.

Three birdies starting from the par-five 14th would however surged him back up the leaderboard.

“I am really feeling good about my game at the moment. It was solid from tee to green and I did not make many mistakes today,” said Chowrasia.

Shiv Kapur, who dropped a bogey and a double bogey on the front nine on fifth and seventh, made up with birdies on ninth and tenth. Then late in the evening he drove the 15th green and landed an eagle to come to even par through 16 holes and he stayed at seven-under. He has two more holes to play.

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