Gangjee tied 10th after third round in Malaysian Open

Friday, March 5, 2010

KUALA LUMPUR - Rahil Gangjee struck a purple patch with six birdies and an eagle in a span of 10 holes to finally come back with a six-under 66 despite a late double bogey in the third round of the Maybank Malaysian Open golf Saturday. He was tied tenth and four off the lead.

The event, co-sanctioned by the Asian and European Tours, has Thailands Kiradech Aphibarnrat in the pole position. He was sharing the lead with Welshman Rhys Davies.

“I started out pretty alright. I made two birdies then I hit a wall when I made a double bogey on the 17th hole. Then I went to the first hole and shot six-under. I didnt expect six-under but I kept thinking to myself to just start all over again,” said Gangjee.

Talking of his eagle on par-5 fifth hole, Gangjee said, “My eagle was a good one. I hit my drive just left of the fairway and from there I had a flyer (212 yards) with my six-iron and it landed to about nine feet.”

Gaganjeet Bhullar (70) and S.S.P. Chowrasia (72) are both at three-under in tied 25th, up 12 places from their 37th place at the end of the second round. Arjun Atwal with two double bogeys slipped to a 75 and tied 44th, down from tied 16th after two rounds. C. Muniyappa (72) in tied 56th and Digvijay Singh (75) in tied 68th were the other Indians to make the cut.

Shiv Kapur (73-73), Himmat Rai (73-73), Anirban Lahiri (75-73) and Jyoti Randhawa, who withdrew after the first round, missed the cut.

Kiradech, 20, brilliantly birdied three of his last four holes for a four-under-par 68 and a three-day total of 11-under-par 205. Davies tied the Thai rising star with a battling 71, which included three birdies against a double bogey.

The final round of the US$2 million event is poised for a photo finish as two-time champion Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand (69), Soren Hansen of Denmark (69) and Koreans K.J. Choi (69) and Noh Seung-yul (67) are a shot back on 206.

The hefty Kiradech, a former junior world champion, nearly sank the first hole-in-one of the tournament when his six-iron tee shot on the 15th ended an inch behind the hole. Although disappointed to not win a car on offer, it sparked a stunning finish as he went on to birdie 17 and 18.

Choi, aiming for a unique Malaysian double after his victory in the Iskandar Johor Open last October, was delighted to be in contention after firing five birdies against two bogeys.

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