PGTI Players Championship: Honey Baisoya in driver’s seat with a seven-shot lead

Honey Baisoya Round 3 leaNoida: Delhi’s Honey Baisoya was in the driver’s seat after round three of the PGTI Players Championship at Noida Golf Course as he pulled ahead by a substantial seven shots courtesy a fiery six-under-66 on Thursday. Baisoya, who totaled 15-under-201 for three days, is now well-placed for a successful title defence at the Rs. 30 lakh event.

Bengaluru’s C Muniyappa (68) and Noida’s Vikrant Chopra (69) were a distant tied second at eight-under-208.

Honey Baisoya (66-69-66), the runner-up last week in Jaipur and the overnight leader by one shot, will now be the firm favourite for the title come Friday. Baisoya, looking for his second win of the year, had a blazing start in the third round with three birdies on the first six holes which gave him a handy lead early in the day.

The 21-year-old Baisoya’s bogey on the seventh was negated by three more birdies on the ninth, 10th and 13th as he sank almost everything that came his way. Honey bogeyed the 15th against the run of play but ended the round on a high with birdies on the 17th and 18th, making a 15-feet conversion on the latter.

Baisoya, who fired a record 19 eagles on the PGTI last season, said, “I’m quite happy with my current position. I have the self belief since I won at this venue earlier this year.

“My best birdies today came on the sixth and 18th. I was on the cart path on the sixth and didn’t have a clear shot at the green, but still managed to hit it within ten feet of the flag. The final birdie from 15 feet on the 18th further lifted my spirits. I also made a great par save after landing it on the bunker lip on the third.

“I’m quite satisfied about the fact that I’ve been extremely consistent in the second half of the season so far having posted top-6 finishes in the last three events. I’ve been playing with my natural aggressive attitude and that has only helped me grow in confidence,” added Baisoya, who is currently placed sixth on the PGTI Order of Merit.

C Muniyappa’s (69-71-68) third round 68 propelled him from overnight tied ninth to tied second place. Muniyappa used his wedges to great effect setting up a tap-in birdie on the 14th and thereafter recovering from the bunker on the 18th to land it within six feet for par.

Local lad Vikrant Chopra (69-70-69) emerged as a contender for the second week running after a timely 69 that moved him up three places from overnight tied fifth. Chopra set up four feet birdie putts on three occasions thanks to some brilliant chipping.

Delhi’s Sachin Baisoya occupied fourth place at seven-under-209.

Gaurav Pratap Singh of Noida shared fifth place at six-under-210 along with Bengaluru’s Udayan Mane, Chandigarh’s Abhijit Singh Chadha and Gurgaon’s Shivendra Singh Sisodia.