Mollah in lead at Players Championship

May 1st, 2009 - 10:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Jaipur, May 1 (IANS) Kolkata golfer Raju Ali Mollah established a comfortable seven-stroke lead at the PGTI Players Championship when he carded a six under 64 Friday, the best round of the tournament so far.
Mollah’s total thus went up to 14 under 196. Anirban Lahiri also shot 64 in the third round that propelled him to tied second place at seven under 203. Vikrant Chopra returned a four under 66 to join Lahiri in tied second at the Rambagh Golf Club.

Mollah (67, 65, 64) is on the threshold of his first ever professional win thanks to his superb second round of 64. Mollah made birdies on the fifth, eighth, ninth, 10th, 14th, 15th, 17th, 18th and dropped bogeys on the third and 12th.

“I was a little tense when I started but gradually got into my rhythm. Three consecutive birdies on the eight, ninth, 10th really helped my confidence. I chipped in from the edge for birdie on the ninth and then hit a fantastic approach on the 10th to set up an easy putt for another birdie. I also converted a 20 feet birdie putt on the 15th,” Mollah said.

“It’s great to be seven ahead at this stage. I’d like to drive home the advantage tomorrow and hopefully win my first professional title. I’ll just concentrate on my game tomorrow and not think about anything else,” he added.

Lahiri’s (70, 69, 64) round of 64 helped him climb from overnight tied ninth to tied second. Lahiri, who began his round with bogeys on the first two holes, shot into contention when he made six birdies and an eagle over the next 16 holes.

“I’m happy that I managed to score so well today despite missing some easy putts. I had an eagle on the closing 18th, where I chipped-in from about 15 feet. I’ll be looking to get off to a good start tomorrow so that I can apply some pressure on the leaders from the very start. Ideally, I would like to be within two to three strokes of the lead at the turn,” said Lahiri.

Vikrant Chopra’s (69, 68, 66) third round 66 placed him tied second along with Lahiri. Chopra fired six birdies and a double bogey Friday to climb from overnight tied third to joint second. His round included a chip-in from the bunker on the 15th.

Himmat Singh Rai (66, 71, 67) finished the day in fourth place at six under 204. Gaganjeet Bhullar and Mohammad Siddikur Rahman are a further stroke behind in tied fifth position.

Arjun Singh, Vijay Kumar, Kunal Bhasin and amateur Rashid Khan share seventh place at four under 206. Rashid dropped from overnight second place after shooting a 74 in round three.

Jaipur’s Vishal Singh (66, 73, 68) lies tied 11th at three under 207 while Mukesh Kumar is tied 16th at one under 209.

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