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Ajeetesh Sandhu in shared lead, looks at maiden Asian Tour win

Press Trust of India  |  Taipei 

Ajeetesh Sandhu, who has been showing excellent form on his home circuit, translated that on the Asian Tour by moving into shared lead at the end of the third round of Yeangder Tournament Players Championship here.

Sandhu today followed up his first two rounds of 69 each with a four-under 68 that catapulted him from Tied-6th to joint first alongside local star Lu Wei-chih (69) and American Johannes Veerman (70) at the Linkou International Golf and Country Club. The trio is tied at 10-under-par 206

Gaganjeet Bhullar (71) was the next best Indian at T-25 at one-under 215 alongside Shubhankar Sharma (74), while Rahil Gangjee (70) improved from overnight T-65th to T-35th. Arjun Atwal (74), Shiv Kapur (74) and S Chikkarangappa (77) are all Tied-50th at two-over 218, while Chiragh Kumar (77) is Tied- 67th.

Sandhu said, "I'm looking forward to tomorrow. I feel pretty good. I've been playing good for the last year and a half. I've been in contention a lot at home. That's what you practise for, to contend for titles and this week is the same.

"I'm playing a lot better as compared to the first two times I've been here. I've played a lot in Japan as well and thats helped me judge the wind better. That's key here because it gets so windy in Chinese Taipei."

Sandhu opened with a birdie and then bogeyed the next hole. He bounced back with birdies on third, fourth, seventh and 10th and closed with eight pars in a row.

Sandhu, 29, does not have an Asian Tour card but finished Tied-second at the Take Solutions Masters in August in Bengaluru, and came into this event on a country exemption.

His last three seasons on Asian Tour have seen him finish above 100th in Order of Merit and in last two years, he played just two events each and finished 168th and 158th. But he has made rapid strides on his home Tour in India and this season alone, he has had seven Top-10s including one win in eight starts. His worst has been T-15th.

Sandhu and Veerman are both searching for their first Asian Tour victory, while Lu, 38, has won four times but all in Taipei. He underwent a surgery for a non-malignant tumour in his brain in mid-2012.

This is Lu's best 54-hole performance in 2017. He has only made three cuts in 11 appearances on the Asian Tour this year. He had a hole-in-one in the opening round on the par- three 11th hole.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, October 07 2017. 17:32 IST