Delhis Honey Baisoya may not have matched his score of 64 from the first two rounds but the 22-year-old, in his own words, came up with his most satisfying effort of the week on day three, a five-under-65 that helped him extend his lead at the inaugural Bengal Open Golf Championship on Thursday.
Honey (64-64-65), the overnight leader by one, is now two shots ahead of the field at 17-under-193 going into the final round of the 2019 TATA Steel PGTI season's fourth event.
Bangladesh's Badal Hossain (63-66-66), moved from overnight tied second to sole second as a result of his 66 on Thursday that took his total to 15-under-195 at the Rs. 30 lakh event.
Badal's compatriot Md Zamal Hossain Mollah also made waves by matching the tournament's best round of 62, earlier shot by first round leader Karan Pratap Singh of Faridabad. Zamal thus took a flight from overnight tied 39th to 12th place at 11-under-199.
Baisoya made a positive start on day three with a birdie on the first but then had a bumpy ride till the 13th as he kept missing fairways. Baisoya's first setback came on the third where he three-putted from six feet for a double-bogey. But despite his hitting form deserting him, Honey still managed birdies on the fourth, sixth and seventh courtesy some high-quality approach shots and putting.
The six-time winner on the PGTI made a couple of fabulous recoveries from the trees to bogey the ninth and extract a birdie on the 13th. He also registered two good par saves on the 11th and 12th.
Baisoya finally ended the day on a high by making birdies on the 14th, 15th and 17th after landing his wedge shots within five feet on all three occasions.
Badal Hossain struck a second straight 66 after making seven birdies and three bogeys to stay in the hunt for his maiden PGTI title. He made six birdie conversions from a range of 10 feet but had a disappointing three-putt bogey on the 17th that pushed him two shots behind the leader.
Delhi's Rashid Khan, the winner in Chittagong last week, had a flying start with birdies on the first three holes. However, on the back-nine he posted two birdies and two bogeys to end up with a 67 and therefore slip one spot to tied third at 14-under-196. Rashid, whose last four rounds had been error-free, continues to be in contention for back-to-back titles in two weeks.
Pune-based Udayan Mane carded a 64 to climb eight places and join Rashid in tied third.
Md Zamal Hossain Mollah struck it well to set up an eagle on the starting 10th and six other birdies en route his spectacular 62. He also drained as many as three putts from a range of 10 to 20 feet.
Kolkata's Sunit Chowrasia (68) outscored his legendary uncle SSP Chawrasia (69) as the duo played in the same group for the first time in a professional event. Sunit closed the day in tied 17th at eight-under-202 while SSP was a further shot back in tied 23rd.
Bengaluru-based Indian star Rahil Gangjee, who originally hails from Kolkata, returned a 71 to be tied 29th at six-under-204.
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