Kathmandu: Defending champion Abhijit Chadha held on to the top spot despite carding a modest one-under 71 in the third round of the Surya Nepal Masters golf tournament here on Friday.
Chadha was three strokes clear of second-placed local favourite Shivaram Shrestha at the Gokara Forest Golf Resort. Shiva shot a four-under in the third round.
Abhijit was 16-under 200 for three rounds while Shivaram was tied with Ajeetesh Sandhu and S Chikkarangappa at 203.
Chikka double-bogeyed the finishing hole to widen the gap between him and the leader.
Shamim Khan shot the best round of the day with a seven-under 65 to climb to the tied-fifth position along with Anirban Lahiri who brought in the second-best card of 66 and Om Prakash Chouhan. The trio was six shots off the leader at 204. Gaurav Ghei and Mohammad Sanju shared the eighth position at 205.
The Rs 4.8 Million Surya Nepal Masters 2013, co-sanctioned by the PGTI is the flagship event of the Surya Nepal Golf Tour and is a part of the Surya Nepal Khel Paryatan programme which aims at promoting sports and tourism.
Abhijit, known for his long driving prowess, made two birdies on his first three holes. After making a hattrick of pars on the next three holes, the tall golfer made two more birdies on his last three holes of his front-nine to be 19-under for the tournament.
"I was not bothered about the lead as I played my own game. I would like to win the title and shall endeavour to keep the ball in play," said the 21-year-old.
With the players breathing down each other`s neck, the golfer to keep his veins in check would be the one to walk away with the winner`s cheque of NRS 775,920.
Top scores after 54 holes:
200 Abhijit Singh Chadha (67, 62, 71); 203 Shivaram Shrestha (66, 69, 68), Ajeetesh Sandhu (65, 68, 70), Chikkarangappa S (62, 69, 72); 204 Shamim Khan (71, 68, 65), Anirban Lahiri (68, 70, 66), Om Prakash Chouhan (70, 64, 70); 205 Gaurav Ghei (68, 67, 70), Mohammad Sanju (66, 67, 72); 206 Honey Baisoya (72, 66, 68), 206 Rashid Khan (65, 71, 70), Chiragh Kumar (69, 67, 70), Manav Jaini (68, 66, 72); 207 R Srinivas (70, 69, 68), Vikrant Chopra (71, 66, 70), Mukesh Kumar (69, 68, 70), Md. Dulal Hossain (68, 65, 74).