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Sunhit Bishnoi shoots 69 to move into third round lead

BALBIR SINGH | September 23, 2023 10:40 AM

VISAKHAPTNAM: Gurugram’s Sunhit Bishnoi shot a three-under 69 in round three to move into the lead at nine-under 207 at the Rs. 1 crore Vizag Open 2023 being played at the East Point Golf Club (EPGC) in Visakhapatnam.

The 22-year-old Sunhit’s (69-69-69) third straight 69 meant he was well-placed to take a shot at his second title as he enjoyed a slender one-shot advantage over second-placed Akshay Sharma (67-68-73) of Chandigarh.

Shivendra Singh Sisodia (69-69-72), another Gurugram-based golfer, was in third place at six-under 210.

Sunhit, lying tied second and three shots off the lead at the halfway stage, grinded it out over his first seven holes on Friday when gusts of wind were playing havoc. He picked up two birdies on that stretch including a 25-feet conversion on the fifth to close the gap with the overnight leader Akshay Sharma.

Bishnoi, who won his maiden title on the PGTI last month, dropped a bogey on the ninth but resumed his charge to the top of the leaderboard with two more birdies on the back-nine including one on the 15th where his approach shot from 100 yards lipped out of the hole but set up a tap-in for him.

Sunhit said, “Importantly, I did well on the first seven holes when the conditions were the toughest. That gave me a lot of confidence and also brought me on level terms with the leader. I had a game-plan in place after the practice round, so far I’ve executed it well. I got some local knowledge from my playing partners on the Pro-Am day and that has been a bonus for me.”

Akshay Sharma, the halfway leader, had an off day with the putter that saw him slip one spot to second position. He made 14 greens in regulation thanks to his solid hitting but his 34 putts meant he ended the day with a 73 that featured two birdies and three bogeys.

Shivendra also dropped one spot from tied second to third after his round of 72 that included four birdies and four bogeys. He made a 60-feet conversion on the first hole and a 40-footer on the 17th.

TATA Steel PGTI Rankings leader Om Prakash Chouhan (74) was tied sixth at three-under 213.

Visakhapatnam’s Rahman Mehboob Shorif was placed 53rd at 13-over 229.

Round 3 Leaderboard:

207: Sunhit Bishnoi (69-69-69)

208: Akshay Sharma (67-68-73)

210: Shivendra Singh Sisodia (69-69-72).

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