Panchkula, Oct 27 (PTI) Chandigarh's Akshay Sharma shot the week's lowest score of seven-under 65 in the third round to take a two-stroke lead over Jairaj Singh Sandhu at the Haryana Open golf tournament here on Friday.
Akshay took his three-day total to 15-under 201, while another Chandigarh-based professional Jairaj carded 68 to occupy the second place at the Panchkula Golf Club.
The DLF Golf & Country Club duo of Honey Baisoya (66) and Abhinav Lohan (69) were also in contention heading into round four as they sat in joint third position at 12-under 204.
Yuvraj Singh Sandhu, in sixth place at 10-under 206, and Angad Cheema, in tied 10th at eight-under 208, were the other two Chandigarh players in the top-10.
TATA Steel PGTI Ranking leader Om Prakash Chouhan (71) was tied 10th too.
Akshay (68-68-65), who won the last of his two titles at Panchkula Golf Club back in 2020, used the good memories from that win to his advantage on Friday.
The 33-year-old made a slow start with three pars and a bogey on his first four holes before picking up the pace with three birdies. His second bogey of the day on the ninth was his last error.
Akshay, currently eighth on the PGTI's money list with two runner-up finishes in the last three events, was on fire on the back-nine as he picked up six birdies to move into the sole lead. On day three he made six conversions from a range of 10 to 25 feet.
Left-hander Jairaj, 26, made a brilliant start with a 30-feet birdie conversion on the second and an eagle-two on the third where he holed it from 40 yards.
Jairaj, looking for his maiden title, added another birdie on the ninth but then had a contrasting back-nine with three birdies and three bogeys. He is currently 44th on the PGTI's merit list with one top-10 to his credit this season.
Kolkata's Shankar Das made a hole-in-one on the second hole during his round of 71. He was placed tied 30th at three-under 213.
Umed Kumar was higher-placed among the two amateurs who made the cut. He was tied 47th at two-over 218. PTI ATK SSC SSC