Shankar, Chikka take centre-stage in PGTI Golf Round three

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Panchkula: Kolkata's Shankar Das and Bangalore's S Chikkarangappa took centre-stage in round three of the PGTI Players Championship at Panchkula Golf Club here on Friday.
Both golfers ended day three with identical totals of 13-under-203 to be placed in the joint lead.
Amardip Sinh Malik of Meerut and Delhi's Shamim Khan were three strokes off the lead in tied third position. Panchkula's Angad Cheema, Australian Kunal Bhasin and Abhinav Lohan of Faridabad are in tied fifth at nine-under-207 while Chandigarh's Sujjan Singh lies a further shot back in eighth position.
Rahul Bajaj of Noida, the overnight leader, slipped to tied ninth after a round of 76 on day three.
Shankar (67-69-67) climbed from overnight tied third to joint first after returning a spirited five-under-67, the day's best score.
Shankar had faltered with a bogey on the seventh but soon picked up the pace with an astonishing run of five successive birdies from the ninth through the 13th. The 30-year-old's approach shots on the ninth and 10th stopped five feet from the pin and resulted in birdies.
He then drove the green on the par-4 11th and found the green in two on the par-5 12th to accumulate two more birdies. The man with the unconventional swing made it five birdies in a row after he came agonizingly close to a hole-in-one with his eight-iron tee shot on the 13th. He pocketed his last birdie of the day on the 16th.
Chikkarangappa (66-69-68), who was overnight second, looked likely to emerge as the sole third round leader for most part of the day until he stumbled on the 18th. He opened the day with a birdie on the first before three-putting for bogey on the par-3 fourth.
It was one-way traffic thereafter as the 20-year-old rookie picked up seven birdies over the next 13 holes to open up a three-shot lead at the top. Chikka sank birdie putts from a range of 15 to 20 feet on the 10th, 13th and 17th and came up with a brilliant bunker shot to set up birdie on the 11th.

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