SINGAPORE- Chikkarangapa S. of India pictured during round three, Saturday January 15, 2022, at The Singapore International golf event at Tanah Merah Country Club, (Tampines Course). The US$1 million Asian Tour event is being staged January 13-16, 2022. Picture by Paul Lakatos/Asian Tour.
Singapore, January 15: Bengaluru-based S Chikkarangappa, shot 2under 70 in difficult conditions once again to move to sole third and within three shots of the leader Thailand’s Rattanon Wannasrichan (73) at The Singapore International.
While the 28-year-old Chikka, looking for his maiden Asian Tour successes moved up, fellow Indian Khalin Joshi, the first round leader, (75) slipped to fourth and was four behind the leader.
The leader was Rattanon, who maintained his lead at Tanah Merah Country Club and put himself in position for his second title on the Asian Tour.
Korean youngster, Joohyung Kim (69) played solid on another day of strong winds and was sole second. Rattanon was 4-under, while Kim Joohyung was second at 2-under and Chikka was 1-under for third. They were the only players under par after 54 holes.
Chikkarangappa, two-time winner on the Asian Development Tour, has been knocking on the doors of a maiden title win for a while, won twice on the Indian domestic Tour in 2021. Later he accompanied Anirban Lahiri as his caddie for the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo, and said, “I learnt a lot from watching the top stars from all over the world. I have been feeling very confident since then. As a for a win, it is not in my control, I can only try and play my best. So, when I go out for the final round, that’s what I will do – give my best. It will be exciting to go out in the final group with Rattanon and Kim and I have seen both play.”
Chikka started the third round with a birdie and was 2-under for front nine but dropped a shot on Par-5 10th for the second day in a row. He made up for it with a birdie on 18th, also for the second day in a row.
Joshi, who shot 67 on the first day, has struggled with the putter for the last two days and hopes to reverse that trend on Sunday.
Rashid Khan, two-time winner on Asian Tour, but who last won in 2014, had a round of 70 and rose to T-14, while Viraj Madappa was T-36 after dropping with a card of 78.
Shubhankar Sharma (77) and Ajeetesh Sandhu (80) had a rough outing and dropped to T-45, while Shiv Kapur (75) and Abhijit Chadha (75) were T-55.
Rattanon, 27, winner of the 2017 Thailand Open, returned a third round one-over-par 73 on the Tampines Course for a two-shot advantage over Kim, who returned a 69.
Thailand’s 14-year-old amateur star Ratchanon Chantananuwat, who was two behind the leader at the start of the day, slipped back with a 76 and is five off the pace.
Rattanon, who spent a lot of time in 2021 in Japan playing on the Japanese Challenge Tour, said, “I was really nervous in the beginning, but I calmed myself down by singing a Thai song in my mind and by talking to my caddie.”
Kim, aged 19, moved into contention with the joint lowest round of the day. In 2019 after earning a battlefield promotion from the Asian Development Tour by claiming three events, he made an instant impact by winning in just his third start on the Asian Tour at the Panasonic Open India.
Indian scores after Round 3 of the The Singapore International being played at the par 72, 7535 Yards Tanah Merah CC course
3: S Chikkarangappa 75-70-70 (215)
4: Khalin Joshi 67-74-75 (216)
T-14: Rashid Khan 75-76-70 (221),
T-36: Viraj Madappa 77-71-78 (224)
T-45: Shubhankar Sharma 73-75-77 (225); Ajeetesh Sandhu 70-75-80 (225)
T-55: Shiv Kapur 79-72-75 (226), Abhijit Chadha 72-79-75 (226)
154: M Dharma 81-73,
155: Karandeep Kochhar 77-78, Veer Ahlawat 78-77.
156: Sunit Chowrasia 77-79.
157: Udayan Mane 74-83,
158: Jeev Milkha Singh 78-80, Jyoti Randhawa 79-79.