Gaurav stretches lead at ONGC

Noida, Nov 20 ( Gaurav Pratap Singh produced his third consecutive round of two under 70 at the ONGC Masters golf to establish a five-stroke lead ahead of the final round here Friday.

Gaurav’s gritty performance in round three helped him close the day with a total of six under 210. Vijay Kumar, the veteran from Lucknow, lies in second place at one under 215.

Gaurav (70, 70, 70), the overnight leader, birdied the fifth and eighth and dropped bogeys on the fourth and ninth to be even par at the turn. He hit his tee shot to within five feet on the fifth. A fantastic up and down from the bunker earned him another birdie on the 14th.

Gaurav sank his last birdie of the day on the 15th, where he hit it quite close to the hole. Singh closed his round with another great up and down from the bunker for par on the 18th.

The 25-year-old from the Noida Golf Course, who has been in contention for a title on a few occasions in the past, is now staring at his maiden professional win.

“I’m doing well in all departments of the game at the moment and am excited about the final round. My chipping was exceptional today. I made a number of chip-putts for birdie and par today. My hitting was also decent today as I hit it quite close to the pin on a few occasions. The three-putt that led to a bogey on the ninth was perhaps the only disappointment of the day,” said Gaurav.

Vijay Kumar’s (74, 72, 69) three under 69 was the best round of the day. Vijay’s round, punctuated by four birdies and a bogey, placed him in second place.

Gaurav Ghei climbed from overnight tied 13th to tied third with the help of a two under 70 on Friday. Ghei now shares third place along with Mandeo Singh Pathania at even par 216.

Arjun Singh Chaudhri and Vipin Kumar Sharma have identical scores of one over 217 to be tied fifth. Defending champion Shamim Khan lies in tied eighth place at three over 219.