Birthday boy Khalin shoots 7-under in Round 3 to get one behind leader Carballo at TAKE Solutions Masters
Bengaluru, August 11: Local lad Khalin Joshi celebrated his 26th birthday with a stunning bogey-free 7-under 64 that saw him rise to Tied-2nd, just one shot behind the new leader Argentine Miguel Carballo (67) at the TAKE Solutions Masters on Saturday. On the traditional moving day, none moved better than Joshi, who a year ago came within a whisker of grabbing his maiden Asian Tour title at this event last year.
Sitting at 13-under, Joshi 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.”
Joshi, who shot a 10-under 62 in 2012 on the then Par-72 course a few months before turning pro, had seven bogeys and hit a purple patch in the middle of the round, when he birdied four in a row from 9th to 12th. During that period he had five birdies in a stretch of six holes from 7th to 12th.
The tightly packed leaderboard had no less than 10 players within three shots of the leader and it had a strong Indian flavour with five of them from the host country.
On a day when the KGA course gave away a lot of good scores in perfect conditions, the only player among Top-24 to go over par was Danthai Boonma, the man who was on fire yesterday. For Danthai the putts did not drop and instead he dropped four shots between fifth and eighth as he carded 2-over 72. His lead of five overnight helped him stay at Tied-2nd with Joshi and they were one shot behind Carballo.
The Argentine had a flawless 67 to get to 14-under and is now in sight of his maiden Asian Tour title in his first season in Asia.
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.”
Joshi missed just one fairway and two green but had no bogeys and said, “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.”
“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.
Even as Joshi and Danthai were chasing Carballo, another player who has recently moved to Bangalore, Viraj Madappa carded 5-under 66 to join S Chikkarangappa (68) at 12-under 201 and two shots behind the leader.
Madappa said, “It was great playing with Khalin and Honey (Baisoya). It felt like a local tour event because I have been playing with them. I was just feeding off their energy, because on the front 9 they kept hitting good shots and kept making putts. I was just trying to keep up.”
“I just told myself to just stay with Khalin because he got hot between 7th and 12th. And I had a good stretch between 11th and 18th with five birdies.”
Honey Baisoya put himself in the spotlight with a hole-in-one on the ninth and it saw him card 5-under 66, which included four birdies, an ace and one bogey. He was 11-under alongside Chawrasia.
Baisoya said, “For the hole-in-one, it was a pitching wedge from 135 yards. The hole-in-one felt amazing. It was the first hole-in-one of my life. I hit a really good shot and after that I just blacked out for a minute. Felt very happy.”
“I played the practice round with Khalin and he made a hole-in-one on the 4th hole. So I told him that you have to give us a party. And then I made a hole-in-one today, and he said that now you have to give me a treat and I told him we are even.”
While the Top-5 had three Indians, Joshi, Chikka and Madappa, the next lot of five players at Tied-6th also included two Indians. The experienced SSP Chawrasia who after being just 1-under through first 11 holes, finished 3-under 68 to get to 11-under.
There were six more Indians between T-11th and T-15th. Om Prakash Chouhan (67) was T-11th, while 19-year-old Karandeep Kochhar (67), who won a pro event while being an amateur, was 14th. Veer Ahlawat (69), M Dharma (65), Aman Raj (69) and Sunit Chowrasia (69), nephew of SSP Chawrasia, were all T-15. The younger Chowrasia, who spells his second name slightly differently, is playing his first Asian Tour event and is here on a sponsor’s invite.