New Delhi, India (SportsNetwork.com) – S.S.P. Chawrasia carded his third
consecutive round in the 60s with a 2-under 69 on Saturday and he holds a 2-
shot lead heading into the final day of the Hero Indian Open.
Chawrasia, who’s two career wins on the European Tour have both come on his
home soil in India, finished 54 holes at 12-under-par 201. Chawrasia last won
at the 2011 Avantha Masters. He also won the 2008 Indian Masters, which was
played at Delhi Golf Club, the same venue as this week’s event.
“I feel great. I missed a few putts but I’m still happy,” Chawrasia stated. “I
want to think and play positive on the final day. The final round is always
special so I will play aggressively.”
Siddikur Rahman, who shared the first-round lead with Chawrasia and three
others, fired a 1-under 70 Saturday, putting him alone in second and two
behind Chawrasia at 10-under 203.
The next closest competitor is Marcus Fraser, who shot a 4-under 67 and jumped
into sole possession of third place at 7-under 206.
Daniel Chopra (65) and Prayad Marksaeng (69) are tied for fourth at minus-6,
while Indian Anirban Lahiri (70) and American Paul Peterson (71) are tied for
sixth at 5-under 208.
Chawrasia, the outright second-round leader, entered the day one shot up on
Rahman. The 36-year-old from India exploded out of the gate with back-to-back
birdies on one and two. Paired with a Rahman birdie on one, Chawrasia had
pushed his advantage to two shots.
Both Chawrasia and Rahman remained quiet for a while, but they both still
distanced themselves from the rest of the field.
Chawrasia drained 10 straight pars from No. 3, while Rahman made 11
consecutive pars from No. 2 after his gain at the first.
The duo continued to pull further away from everyone else, all while Chawrasia
maintained his 2-shot lead. Chawrasia and Rahman exchanged birdies on No. 13,
moving Chawrasia up to 13-under and Rahman to minus-11.
While Chawrasia rattled off three straight pars from 14, Rahman made a mess of
the par-4 15th and settled for double-bogey, all of a sudden putting Chawrasia
up by four shots.
Having not made a bogey all week heading to the 17th, Chawrasia dropped his
first shot in 52 holes at the par-3 and his lead was down to three.
“I missed my 8-iron on the 17th hole, or else I would have still been bogey-
free,” said Chawrasia. “I played my own game and I am not thinking that I’m
playing match play. If anyone is coming closer, let them. I just want to focus
on my own game.”
For the third straight day, Rahman made birdie on the par-5 18th, while
Chawrasia settled for par, getting Rahman to within two heading into the final
“It was a good day,” Rahman said. “I had a nice rhythm and picked up a couple
of shots until the double-bogey. I managed to recover well and made a great
par save on 17, and then managed to birdie the last so overall I am happy with
the 1-under today.”
NOTES: Prior to his bogey on 17, Chawrasia’s last dropped shot came on No. 18
at last week’s True Thailand Classic … The last player to go bogey-free for
an entire European Tour tournament was Jesper Parnevik when he won the 1995
Scandinavian Masters … Rahman has never won on the European Tour and he has
missed the cut at each of the two events he has played this season …
Chawrasia has one top-10 finish in two starts this season. He finished alone
in 10th at the Maybank Malaysian Open.