Himmat, Chowrasia chase the leaders hard in Manila golf

PTI| Updated: Nov 16, 2013, 16:53 PM IST

Manila: Himmat Rai, who has had very modest results, save a top-10 at the Avantha Masters this season, showed signs of reviving his fortunes with a third straight round in 60s at the inaugural USD 750,000 Resorts World Manila Masters here on Saturday.

Carding 68, Himmat, who missed nine straight cuts from April to September, is now at 11-under 205 and just two shots behind the leader, China`s Liang Wen-chong (67).

Himmat is now tied for fourth alongside overnight leader Jazz Janewattananond (72).

Another Indian in sight of a good placing is and a possible shot at the title is SSP Chowrasia (69), who finished tied second last week at Hero Indian Open.

Chowrasia is now 10-under 206 and tied for sixth.

Digvijay Singh (74), Jyoti Randhawa (71) and Abhinav Lohan (71) are all tied for 36th place at four-under 212, while Sujjan Singh (73) dropped to tied 48th.

Himmat had five birdies, two of them in first three holes and another three on back nine. His sole bogey of the day came on ninth. Chowrasia opened with a string of seven pars before he birdied the eighth and bogeyed the ninth.

Three birdies on 12th, 15th and 16th rounded off a fine four-under 68 for Chowrasia, whose last Asian Tour win came in 2011.

"This week along with the other weeks is really important as they determine how well you will do on the Order of Merit. I`ll be keeping my focus and putting four solid rounds together. The last 18 holes are going to be important but I`m going to treat it as just another round and do my best.

"If I can do what I`ve been doing over the last three days, I`ll be in a great position. Experience counts but I can`t stress enough that I need to focus on my game and not worry about the other things," Himmat said.

Expressing confidence, Chowrasia said, "I have been feeling confident after my showing in Hero Indian Open and that should hold me in good stead."
Up at the top Liang broke clear of the chasing pack when he posted a third round five-under-par 67 to take a one-shot lead.

With a host of players battling for the outright lead at the Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club, it finally took a birdie on the 17th hole to give China`s number one golfer pole position before he went on to sign for a three-day total of 13-under-par 203. Malaysia`s Nicholas Fung returned with a 70 to share second place with Korean-American David Lipsky on 204.