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Mixed day for Indians,as New Zealand's Mark Brown emerges leader

Greater Noida, Feb 22 (UNI) It was a mixed day for Indians as Jyoti Randhawa lost his leading position and fell to be tied fourth along with Gaganjeet Bhullar, New Zealand's Mark Brown with sizzling five under 67 emerged leader at the end of the third round of the 400,000 dollars SAIL Open golf here today.

On a day when many challengers were blown off course, the in-form Brown, who was fifth at last year's Hero Honda Indian Open, surged ahead with his 11-under-par 205 aggregate and leads by one shot from Australian Scott Hend, who carded a 69 and Asian Tour rookie Rhys Davies of Wales, who fired a fine 67.

Joint overnight leader Jyoti Randhawa, overcame a shaky start which saw him go three over par after seven holes before bouncing back with a 72 to aggregate of nine under 207 (67, 68,72) and keep his title hopes alive.

Randhawa had an ordinary day even though he recovered well on the back nine. He was in trouble on the front nine as he made bogeys on the sixth and seventh and a double bogey on the third besides birdies on the fifth and eighth.

However, he came back strongly on the back nine, sinking a birdie on the 10th, an eagle on the 12th and another birdie on the 15th. He also dropped two bogeys on the 13th and 17th.

Gaganjeet Bhullar (70, 68, 69) recorded the best round among all the Indians on day three. His three under 69 helped him climb from overnight tied eighth to tied fourth.

The 2002 Asian Games silver medalist now has a total of nine under 207, same as Randhawa. Bhullar had a 34 on the front nine after he sank birdies on the second, fourth and sixth and dropped a bogey on the fifth. On the back nine he made eagle on the par five 12th and then dropped a bogey on the 16th. The Kapurthala lad led at one stage when his total was ten under but then fell back with the bogey on the 16th.

Ashok Kumar, climbed from overnight tied 15th to tied 12th after returning 71 on in round three. He had shot 70 and 69 in the first two rounds now has a total of six under 210.

Harendra Gupta's 73 made him slip from overnight tied 15th to tied 21st. He now has an overall total of four under 212. He had shot 69 and 70 in the first two rounds.

Dinesh Kumar disappointed in the third round, falling from overnight tied fourth to tied 27th. His third round score of 77 took his total to two under 214. He was well placed at the halfway mark after firing 68 and 69 on the first two days.

Vivek Bhandari (72, 71, 72) is tied 34th with a total of one under 215. Anirban Lahiri, Mukesh Kumar and Randhir Singh Ghotra are at joint 42nd place as their overall score stands at even par 216.


Story first published: Friday, February 22, 2008, 18:37 [IST]
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