Baisoya – Mane shootout on the cards at Bengaluru Open Golf Championship sponsored by Karnataka Tourism.
Honey Baisoya leads by two after round three, Udayan Mane in hot pursuit
Bengaluru, November 17, 2017: The final day of the Bengaluru Open Golf Championship sponsored by Karnataka Tourism offers the prospect of a mouth-watering contest between two of India’s most promising young golfers, Honey Baisoya of Delhi and Ahmedabad-based Udayan Mane.
Twenty-one-year-old Baisoya, the halfway leader, came up with a resolute five-under-67 on Friday to continue in the lead at an astounding 18-under-198 at the Rs. 1 crore PGTI event. On the other hand, 26-year-old Mane shot the day’s joint best score of six-under-66 to be hot on the leader’s heels at 16-under-200.
There was a wide gap between the top two and the rest of the field as Chandigarh’s Harendra Gupta (67) was next best, four strokes behind, at 12-under-204.
It now looks likely that the 72-hole course record of 13-under-275 set by Bengaluru’s Chikkarangappa at last year’s TAKE Open will be broken this week.
Honey Baisoya (67-64-67) will be gunning for his fifth title on the PGTI come Saturday. Honey, the round two leader by three shots, had an early hiccup when he bogeyed the third but then rattled off five straight birdies from the fourth to the eighth to stretch his lead to an imposing seven shots.
Baisoya, currently fifth in the PGTI Order of Merit, then made a marvelous recovery after finding the water hazard on the 10th. He sank a 25-footer to walk away with a par there.
After making four conversions from a range of 20 to 25 feet, Honey’s putter went cold as he struggled to roll in the putts on the back-nine. As things slowed down for him, Baisoya, who struck the joint lowest score in a professional event at the KGA during round two, could manage only one birdie after the turn.
“I’m not satisfied with today’s round as I was four-under after the first eight holes and couldn’t capitalize on that start. I just couldn’t make the putts on the back-nine. I was stroking my putts well but wasn’t able to read the lines.
“The final round will be a well-contested one as both Udayan and myself are high on confidence having won two titles each this year. I’ll need to post a score of five to six under to have a good chance.
“I’m particularly keen to win this week as I’ve not won a big prize money event so far. I’ve also never won at the KGA having finished runner-up here a few times during my junior days. So that’s another goal,” said Baisoya, who fired a record 19 eagles in the 2016 PGTI season.
Udayan Mane (69-65-66), who moved base from Bengaluru to Ahmedabad earlier this year, held on to his overnight second place after an error-free 66 that saw him make six birdies on the last 10 holes.
Udayan made pars on the first eight holes and thus trailed the leader Baisoya by seven shots at that stage. His round took flight with three consecutive birdies from the ninth to the 11th. The towering Mane, currently second on the PGTI Order of Merit, then added three more birdies on the last four holes to reduce Baisoya’s lead significantly to just two shots.
Udayan said, “It was a terrific back-nine as I made a 32 there. My tee shots and putting were top notch today. After eight pars, the birdies on the ninth and 10th turned it around for me as it gave me the necessary momentum.
“A two-shot deficit is not a huge one so I carry that positive thought into the final round. For me, it’s now about playing with heart and winning the battle within.”
The seasoned Harendra Gupta, a winner of nine titles, registered a flawless 67 to move up one position to third. Gupta, the 2017 PGTI Birdie Leader with 213 birdies to his credit so far, could be the dark horse on the final day.
Bengalurean M Dharma was tied for fourth at 10-under-206 along with Delhi golfers Shamim Khan and Himmat Singh Rai.
While Bengalurean Rahil Gangjee was tied seventh at nine-under-207, his city mates Khalin Joshi and Chikkarangappa were in tied ninth at eight-under-208.