Jeetesh and Jaini lead Indian charge at SAIL Open golf

March 24th, 2011 - 7:50 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 24 (IANS) The Indian challenge at the $300,000 SAIL Open continued to be strong as seven Indians figured in the top-10 at the end of the third round Thrusday.

Two shots behind the leader Siddikur from Bangladesh, was 22-year-old Ajeetesh Sandhu, whole another shot behind was Delhi Golf Club’s own star Manav Jaini, who shot the tournament best of 64.

Jaini brought himself back into contention with an eight-under 64 that took him to 10-under 205 at the end of the third round. Jaini, who came close to winning the Indian Open last December, is two shots behind the leader Bangaldesh’s Siddikur (67).

Ajeetesh Sandhu, 22, was only two shots off the leader Siddikur. Sandhu (68) shot his third straight round in the 60s and was 12-under 204 to Siddikur’s 14-under 202.

Apart from second placed Sandhu, Jaini was tied fourth, and Gaganjeet Bhullar (72) and Anirban Lahiri (72) lurked closed in tied sixth and sole eighth. Bhullar, two times winner on Asian Tour and winner of European Challenge Tour event in 2011, shot 72 to be eight-under 208 and Lahiri was seven-under 209.

Jyoti Randhawa, one of India’s most successful players on Asian Tour, shot a 68 to be tied ninth along with two other Indians, his own brother-in-law Digvjay Singh (68) and Shamim Khan (71).

Sandhu, who had a fine career as an amateur where he trained at the David Leadbetter Golf Academy in the United States from 2005 to 2007, said, “My game has been solid the whole week. I played well on the first day and it has been smooth sailing from there. I’ve been solid from tee to green and my putting has been good because the greens are in excellent conditions. You are only going to miss a putt if you miss read the greens. Sandhu had three birdies and one bogey on either side of the course.

Jaini had five birdies in his first eight holes, including a 15-footer on the second. “I stayed in the moment and followed the routine and process. I am going to stay focused and not worry about the result,” he said.

Siddikur opened up a two-stroke lead going into the final round with a three-day total of 14-under-par 202.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand closed with a 69 after a bogey on the last hole. He shared second with Sandhu, who posted a 68 for a 204.

Siddikur, the first Bangladeshi to win on the Asian Tour, birdied the fifth hole before sinking an eagle three on the eighth hole from 12 feet. He went on to mix his card with four more birdies against two bogeys to stay in contention for a second Asian Tour win.

Leading third round scores
202 - Siddikur (BAN) 68-67-67
204 - Kiradech Aphibarnrat (THA) 68-67-69, Ajeetesh Sandhu (IND) 69-67-68
205 - Akinori Tani (JPN) 68-67-70, Manav Jaini (IND) 68-73-64
208 - Gaganjeet Bhullar (IND) 67-69-72, Namchok Tantipokhakul (THA) 72-69-67
209 - Anirban Lahiri (IND) 66-71-72
210 - Shamim Khan (IND) 72-67-71, Jyoti Randhawa (IND) 70-72-68, Digvijay Singh (IND) 72-70-68
211 - Joonas Granberg (FIN) 69-73-69, Peter Karmis (RSA) 71-71-69, Daisuke Kataoka (JPN) 73-69-69
212 - Mars Pucay (PHI) 69-71-72, Lam Chih Bing (SIN) 69-71-72, Sanjay Kumar (IND) 70-70-72, Miguel Tabuena (PHI) 69-72-71, Ben Fox (USA) 70-71-71, Berry Henson (USA) 72-69-71, Rashid Khan (IND) 73-71-68, Pariya Junhasavasdikul (THA) 74-71-67

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