Honey Baisoya stayed put on the top with five-under-65 after the third and penultimate round of Bengal Open Golf Championship at Tollygunge Club here on Thursday.
Honey (64-64-65), is now two shots ahead of the field at 17-under-193 going into the final round of the TATA Steel PGTI season’s fourth event.
Bangladesh’s Badal Hossain (63-66-66), moved from overnight tied second to sole second as a result of his second straight 66 that took his total to 15-under-195 at the Rs. 30 lakh event. He carded six birdie but had a disappointing three-putt bogey on the 17th that pushed him two shots behind the leader.
Badal’s compatriot Md Zamal Hossain Mollah also made waves by matching the tournament’s best round of 62, earlier shot by first round leader Karan Pratap Singh of Faridabad. He moved up from tied 39th to 12th place at 11-under-199.
Delhi’s Rashid Khan, the winner in Chittagong last week, had a flying start with birdies on the first three holes. However, on the back-nine he posted two birdies and two bogeys to end up with a 67 and therefore slip one spot to tied third at 14-under-196.
Rashid, whose last four rounds had been error-free, continues to be in contention for back-to-back titles in two weeks.
Pune-based Udayan Mane carded a 64 to climb eight places and join Rashid in tied third.
Shankar Das (64) was the highest-placed Kolkata golfer in tied fifth. Das shared fifth place with round one leader Karan Pratap Singh (68) of Faridabad at 13-under-197.
Local golfer Sunit Chowrasia (68) outscored his uncle SSP Chawrasia (69) as the duo played in the same group for the first time in a professional event. Sunit closed the day in tied 17th at eight-under-202 while SSP was a further shot back in tied 23rd.
Bengaluru-based Rahil Gangjee, who originally hails from Kolkata, returned a 71 to be tied 29th at six-under-204.
Honey Baisoya made a positive start on day three with a birdie on the first but then had a bumpy ride till the 13th as he kept missing fairways. His first setback came on the third where he three-putted from six feet for a double-bogey. But despite his hitting form deserting him, The Delhi player still managed birdies on the fourth, sixth and seventh courtesy some high-quality approach shots and putting.
He finally ended the day on a high by making birdies on the 14th, 15th and 17th after landing his wedge shots within five feet on all three occasions.
“I really struggled with my hitting for a major part of my round. I found only two fairways on the first 13 holes and that stat in itself says a lot. But my approach shots and putting kept me in the game as I made some tremendous recoveries on the third, fifth, ninth and 13th. Honey said after his round