Jaipur: Patna’s Aman Raj shot a top-notch six-under 64 to move up two spots and build a two-shot lead at a total of 15-under 195 on day three of the INR 1 crore Bhawani Singh Rathore presents Jaipur Open 2023 powered by AU Small Finance Bank being played at the Rambagh Golf Club in Jaipur.
Dhruv Sheoran of Gurugram, like leader Aman also fired a bogey-free 64, the day’s joint lowest score, to gain five spots and move into second place at 13-under 197.
Aman Raj (65-66-64), who was two shots off the lead in tied third place at the halfway stage, produced a flawless round on Friday to emerge as the top contender going into the final round. Aman, the 2018 champion, collected four birdies on the first seven holes thanks to two long conversions and a terrific approach leading to a tap-in.
After his roaring start, the 28-year-old Aman, currently fourth on the TATA Steel PGTI Ranking, slowed down as he missed a lot of birdie opportunities on the greens. He made pars all the way till the 16th before closing the round with a flourish thanks to a couple of quality up and downs for birdies on the 17th and 18th.
Aman, a two-time winner this season, said, “After a great start today, I felt good about my game, especially my hitting. Then the birdies dried up as despite hitting eight of the next nine greens, I missed all my chances with the putter.
“However, I managed a late surge with a couple of good up and downs, including one from the bunker, on the last two holes. That gave me a lot of confidence going into the final day. Looking ahead to the last round, I believe I need to be in the present, keep repeating what I did today and enjoy myself.”
Dhruv Sheoran, who was overnight tied seventh, picked up four birdies on the first eight holes on Friday. Dhruv, a two-time winner on the PGTI Feeder Tour, too had a quiet phase like Aman on the back-nine, before ending with birdies on the last two holes. Sheoran sank a couple of long putts and left himself tap-ins on three occasions.
Akshay Sharma (68) occupied third place at 11-under 199.
Second round leader Saptak Talwar carded a 71 to drop down to tied fourth place at 10-under 200. Yashas Chandra (65) and Sunhit Bishnoi (68) also joined Talwar in fourth place.
Sachin Baisoya (67) and Manu Gandas (71) were a further shot back in tied seventh along with Syed Saqib Ahmed (65), Shivendra Singh Sisodia (65) and Varun Chopra (67).