Lam Chih Bing leads at BILT Open golf


Greater Noida : Overnight leader Lam Chih Bing of Singapore carded a three-under-par, 69 in the third round Saturday to maintain his lead with a 54-hole total of 13-under-par, 213, going into the final round of the richest tournament on the PGTI Tour, the BILT Open 2007, which concludes at the par-72 Jaypee Greens Golf Course Sunday.

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Lam Chih Bing played conservatively and birdied the eighth and ninth holes to make the turn at two-under-par, 34. He then birdied the 12th, dropped a shot on the 13th hole where he hit his drive into the rough but picked up another birdie on the 15th hole to finish the day with a 69 and sole lead of the tournament at 13-under-par.

“I had a steady round today and didn’t get into any trouble. However, I do wish I had made a few more putts,” said Lam Chih Bing.

The highlight of the day was a hole-in-one by Bangladesh’s Mohd Siddikur Rehman. He aced the 162-yard par-three 14th hole with a seven-iron to card the first hole-in-one of the tournament. He was presented Rs.100,000 for his effort.

Digvijay Singh, Arjun Singh and Himmat Singh Rai are tied for second place, five strokes behind the leader, with an identical total of eight-under-par, 208.

Himmat carded a four-under-par, 68 though he started the day badly, with back-to-back bogeys on the first two holes. However, he birdied the fourth, dropped a shot on the sixth, but birdies on the seventh, eighth, 12th, 14th, 15th and 16th holes saw him finish the day with a tournament total of eight-under-par.

“I am hitting the ball well and am looking forward to playing tomorrow,” he added.

Meanwhile, Digvijay carded six birdies – on the first, second, fourth, fifth, eighth and 12th holes, but dropped shots on the third and 17th holes that resulted in a four-under-par for the day. “I really enjoyed my game today. I am not getting ahead of myself and am staying in the present,” he said.

Arjun Singh carded a three-under-par, 69 with birdies on the third, fifth, sixth, 11th and 12th holes. He was placed at 10-under-par for the tournament, but dropped to eight-under for 54-holes after he bogeyed the 14th and 15th holes coming in.

“The wind picked up on the back nine,” said Arjun who played a flawless front nine Saturday. “My putting was good except for the 14th and 15th holes which I bogeyed.”

“I am just sticking to the basics and am very happy with my game,” said a thrilled Shamim Khan, who was at 11-under-par halfway through the day. He finished with a one-under-par, 71 to drop to tied fifth alongside Ashok Kumar with a total of seven-under-par, 209.

“I started my round really well but then I missed a two and a half foot putt on the seventh hole and just did not hole any putts after that,” said Shamim.

Gaurav Ghei carded a four-under-par 68 in the third round to move up to tie for 13th place. “I am disappointed as I could have finished six or seven under par for the day today,” said Gaurav who missed a lot of short putts that he felt he should have holed.

Kapil Kumar maintained his lead in the amateur category with a 54-hole total of 236, while Lakhan Singh is placed second.

Scores (after 54-holes):

203_Lam Chih Bing (68,66,69); 208_ Himmat Singh Rai (74,66,68), Digvijay Singh (69,71,68), Arjun Singh (69,70,69); 209_ Ashok Kumar (71,68,70), Shamim Khan (66,72,71); 211_ Vijay Kumar (74,68,69), Amandeep Johl (74,68,69), Matloob Ahmed Rana (72,69,70), Mukesh Kumar (72, 68,71); 212_Rahil Gangjee (73,70,69), SSP Chowrasia (69,72,71); 213_Gaurav Ghei (73,72,68), Feroz Ali Mollah (70,72,71)