Bengaluru, August 11: The third day of the Take Solutions Masters saw the Indian golfers charge up the leaderboard as local favourite Khalin Joshi put himself in contention at the Karnataka Golf Association. While Argentine Miguel Carballo secured the sole lead on the penultimate day, Joshi made it a memorable birthday as the Bengaluru boy jumped from tied 8th to tied 2nd after turning in a stunning seven-under-64 on Saturday (August 11).
As it stands after 54 holes:— Asian Tour (@asiantourgolf) August 11, 2018
-13 Danthai, @KhalinJoshi
-12 Madappa, @chikkarangappa
-11 Vincent, @migueltabuena, @baisoyahoney, @SSP_Golf, @smashedmavo #TSMastersgolf @TSMastersgolf pic.twitter.com/Kmh5mifMQz
Carballo, who had ended the second day at tied 2nd, turned in a flawless 67, with four saved shots, to grab solo lead on the third day of the Asian Tour and PGTI co-sanctioned tournament. Playing in his first Asian Tour season, the Argentine set his eyes on his maiden Asian Tour trophy as he headed into the final day of the tournament with a one-shot lead.
But the Argentine will have to be on alert as any slip up on the final day would cost him as Joshi is just one-shot behind him at a total of 13-under-200. With the KGA being Khalin’s home course, a one-shot deficit is nothing for the 26-year-old.
Gunning for his maiden Asian Tour title, Carballo said, “I entered the round five shots back but I wasn’t thinking much. I was just focused on playing my own game. Danthai made an easy birdie on the first but I told myself to just play my own game.
“I have been playing good this year, both on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) and the Asian Tour. This is my first time playing in the final group on the Asian Tour. I wasn’t feeling any pressure.”
Argentinean @carballotati signs for a 67 to seize a one-shot lead over @KhalinJoshi and Danthai Boonma heading into the final round of the TAKE Solutions Masters.https://t.co/gnrsFDK6tZ @TSMastersgolf pic.twitter.com/Cjl7T6AB33— Asian Tour (@asiantourgolf) August 11, 2018
It all boils down to the final day. Khalin ended tied for second with overnight leader Danthai Boonma. Boonma had a bad day at office but his lead of five-strokes kept him at second place. The Thai youngster who had carded seven straight birdies on Friday, just saved two shots on the day, while bogeying the 5th and 7th and losing two strokes on the 8th, carding 2-over-73.
Meanwhile local lad Khalin, who had under-par rounds throughout the week, turned in a flawless card studded with seven birdies. On the front nine he saved shots on the 4th, 7th and 9th hole. Taking the turn, Khalin fired three back-to-back birdies from the 10th to the 12th, while saving his last shot on the 15th.
After putting himself in contention, Khalin said, the course was yielding good scores and 20-under could be the target. “Shubhankar and I spoke about it and he said you shoot 20-under. I spoke to my caddie as well and he said you shoot 20-under and you'll win! For me it was always a goal to shoot 20-under this week.”
Signing for the day's best score of a 64 on your 26th birthday...and on your home course..how good does it feel?— Asian Tour (@asiantourgolf) August 11, 2018
Many happy returns, @KhalinJoshi! 🎉🎉🎉@TSMastersgolf #TSMastersgolf pic.twitter.com/3ZNloF52dI
Last year’s runner-up Khalin added, “I played really well today. What's more important is that I played bogey free. That was my key. I think I'm in a good position for tomorrow, so I'm really excited.”
Talking about the final round, Khalin said, “There's a lot of golf still left, 18 holes to go. But I have put myself in a good position. That's all I was expecting this week - to just give myself a fair chance going into Sunday. I want to play my own game and not look at anybody. I had set myself a target of 20-under and hopefully I can achieve it. Playing 7-under tomorrow will be great,” he added.
Khalin is not the only Indian with a shot at the title. Leader Carballo has no less than ten golfers within three shots of him with five Indians in the chasing pack.
Lying a shot behind Khalin was his friend and Karnataka golfer S Chikkarangappa along with youngster Viraj Madappa. While Chikka turned in a card of three-under-68, youngster Madappa turned played a good round of five-under-66 to settle for joint fourth.
Two other Indians in the top-10 included seasoned pro SSP Chawrasia, who carded 3-under-68 on Saturday and PGTI regular Honey Baisoya who carded five-under-66 to join Chawrasia at tied-6th. Baisoya put himself in the spotlight with a hole-in-one on the ninth. He finished 11-under alongside Chawrasia.
Scores after 54 holes
1: Miguel Carballo 14-under-199
Tied 2nd: Khalin Joshi 13-under-200, Danthai Boonma 13-under-200
Tied 4th: Viraj Madappa 12-under-201, S Chikkarangappa 12-under-201
Tied 6th: Mihuel Tabuena 11-under-202, Miguel Tabuena 11-under-202, SSP Chawrasia 11-under-202, Honey Baisoya 11-under-202, Scott Vincent 11-under-202