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Randhawa in top-10 at Thailand Golf Championship


 Bangkok : Jyoti Randhawa, whose last Asian Tour win came in Thailand in 2009, moved into top-10, but was still some distance away from the leaders at the end of the third round of the Thailand Golf Championship today.

Randhawa, three-under through two rounds, shot five-under 67 on the moving day to get to eight-under 208 and tied-ninth place.

SSP Chawrasia added a four-under 68 to his three-under 141 total for 36 holes and is now seven-under 209 in tied-14th place.

Among other Indians, Arjun Atwal and Shiv Kapur carded three-under 69 each in the third round to move to five-under 211 and in tied-22nd place, while Rashid Khan (70) and Gaganjeet Bhullar (72) are at three-under 213 and tied-34th place.

World No. 481 Clement Sordet of France was the very last international player invited to the fifth edition of the USD 1 million event but he could very well be first past the post if he continues with the kind of shot-playing that saw him scorch his way to a 63, and a two-shot lead at 16-under par heading into the final round.

“I was pretty focused today. I guess that was the key to me playing well. I made six birdies and a bogey. It was great playing alongside Bubba (Watson). He’s a very nice person. We’ve got a great crowd following us so it was really enjoyable out there,” Randhawa said.

“You really got to learn to hit it long on this course. Overall, it was a good day. I guess I was better focused than how I was in the last two rounds. I was swinging well and I didn’t miss too many shots. I was in the game momentarily and I was more focused into my shots.

“It was very hot out there but it got cooler on the back nine as the windy was up a little. My chipping wasn’t good today. I wished I had chipped better and made some up and downs. I just got to improve my short game for tomorrow,” he added.

Chawrasia said, “I played very good today. I hit the ball good and I putted well. The leaders are a little far to catch now but if I can continue to do what I have been doing, I should be able to finish well tomorrow. Hopefully, I can continue to play well. I am also looking to finish well to secure one of the four spots for The Open next year. Hopefully I can finish strong. I will try my best tomorrow.”

Defending champion Lee Westwood charged through the field to put himself in contention for a third Thailand Golf Championship today but it was an unheralded Frenchman who had the galleries at Amata Spring Country Club buzzing after the third day’s play in the Asian Tour’s marquee event.

Leader Sordet said, “It’s pretty much my dream to play with the top players in this field. I think I will do that tomorrow and hopefully I’ll enjoy it and just play my own game,”

Sitting behind the 23-year-old Frenchman, who joined the paid ranks in July and won the Northern Ireland Open on just his fourth start as a professional, is overnight leader Jamie Donaldson on 14-under after a topsy-turvy one-under 71.

And then comes Westwood. The Englishman is a master of the Amata Spring layout, having won in 2011 and 2014, and with an eight-under par 64 leaving him at 13-under, the trophy is well and truly in his sights once again.

The charge the packed galleries had hoped for from world number four Bubba Watson never materialised today. The American signed for an even-par 72 that left him on three under and shaking his head.

Watson’s day was summed up succinctly by a six-foot birdie putt on the last that stopped about an inch short.

Still in the hunt also are rising South Korean star and freshly minted European Tour Rookie of the Year — An Byeong-hun, who sits in fourth after a four-under 68 that left him at 12 under and four off the pace. While world number 12 Sergio Garcia and two-time major winner Martin Kaymer sit tied for fifth a further stroke back on 11-under after rounds of 70 and 72, respectively.]

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