Golfer Chawrasia moves up to tied fifth at Manila Masters

Manila, Nov 21 (IANS) Indian golfer S.S.P. Chawrasia charged up the leaderboard with a flawless five-under 67 to be tied fifth, while Rahil Gangjee carded 70 to be joint 12th after the third and penultimate round of the $1 million Resorts World Manila Masters here on Saturday.

Chawrasia, who scored two 70s in the first two rounds to be tied 25th, rode on five birdies on the third, 11th, 12th, 15th and 18th holes in a bogey-free round.

The 37-year-old, who is fourth in the Asian Tour Order of Merit, took his total to nine-under 207 — five shots behind Hung Chien-yao of Chinese Taipei, who scored 68 to pull one stroke clear of South African Jbe Kruger (69).

One shot and six spots behind Chawrasia was Gangjee, who got three birdies and a lone bogey for a 70 at the Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club.

Next best placed Indian was S. Chikka, who scored an even-par 72 that took his total to three-under 213 and gave him a share of the 44th position.

Shubhankar Sharma scored 72 to take joint 50th spot on 214 total, while veteran Jyoti Randhawa scored his second consecutive two-over 74 to be tied 58th on 216.

Shiv Kapur (76) was tied 63rd on 218, while Chiragh Kumar scored 75 to be tied 65th on 219.

Meanwhile, overnight co-leader Chinese Taipei’s Hung birdied three of his last five holes for a 68 that helped him edge ahead with a 14-under 202 aggregate.

Power-packed Kruger, chasing a second title in Asia, signed for a 69 which included a 12-foot eagle on the 15th, while another Chinese Taipei youngster Lee Chieh-po battled to a 71 to trail in third place, three off the lead.

After Kruger eagled the 15th hole to snatch the lead momentarily, Hung birdied 14th, 15th and 17th from inside of 12 feet to lead into the final day. Such was his concentration level that he didn’t realise he had strung together a strong finish.

Kruger, 29, has plenty to play for on Sunday as he needs to move his current 78th ranking on the Order of Merit into the top-60 to keep his card. He recently lost his playing rights in Europe. The South African said he needs his putter to start finding its range.

Thailand’s Natipong Srithong fired a fine 66 to move into contention on 206 in tied fourth position with Spaniard Carlos Pigem, who enjoyed a bogey-free 67 in the richest golf tournament in the Philippines.

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