Pune: Bengaluru-based rookie golfer Udayan Mane built a commanding six-shot lead in the penultimate round of the inaugural Western India Oxford Masters after he produced a brilliant five-under-67 at the Oxford Golf Resort on Thursday. Mane’s three-day total of 15-under-201 gave him the lead for the third successive day at the Rs. 30 lakh PGTI event. Sri Lankan Anura Rohana and Faridabad’s Abhinav Lohan were in tied second at nine-under-207.
Udayan Mane (65-69-67), the overnight leader by three shots, gained an upper hand early on in round three as he nailed three consecutive birdies on the third, fourth and fifth. Mane landed his tee shot within three feet on the par-3 third before finding the green in two on the par-5 fourth. He converted a seven-footer on the fifth to make it a hat-trick of birdies.
Udayan consolidated his lead on the final stretch of the day with birdies on 16 and 17. He drained a 12-feet putt on the 16th after recovering well from the bunker while the 17th saw him sink his longest putt of the day, a 15-footer.
Mane, staring at his second title in four weeks, said, “I stuck to my process and my game-plan really well. I grabbed all my chances on the greens. I was off to a good start with those early birdies. From then on I kept hitting the greens. I struggled a little bit with my approaches and the pitching wedge on the back-nine but I continued to focus on creating chances.
“I drove well today and hit more fairways and greens in regulation than the previous round. The wind wasn’t blowing hard but just enough to make me recalculate. I will just try to follow my processes and do my thing in the final round than think about the result,” added Mane, whose 67 was the joint best score of day three.
Anura Rohana (69-68-70) mixed five birdies with a bogey and a double-bogey in his third round of 70 to continue in his overnight tied second position, six behind the leader Mane.
Abhinav Lohan (72-65-70) also shot a 70 to hold on to his overnight tied second place. His round featured four birdies and two bogeys.
Delhi’s Vinod Kumar was in fourth place at six-under-210.
Shamim Khan, another Delhi golfer, who shot the day’s joint best score of 67, occupied tied fifth along with Kolkata’s Mohammad Sanju, Noida golfers Rahul Bajaj and Vikrant Chopra and Gurgaon’s Deepinder Singh Kullar at five-under-211.