Vikram Rana and Gagan Verma tied for lead

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Bangalore, June 12 (UNI) The last 18 holes of the LG Southern India Amateur promise to be an exciting affair with Vikram Rana and Gagan Verma tied for lead even as Rana shot a 1-under par while the latter submitted a 1-over par card in the third round.

Both had a total of 3-under 213 for the tournament.

Young Rashid Khan who signed off with birdies on his last two holes shot the day's best of 3-under 69 and was three shots behind the duo. The Delhi lad was tied for the third place along with Abhinav Lohan at 213. India No.2 Manav Das and HS Kang shared the fifth position at 217. Sharing the seventh spot were two of the most exciting juniors of the country Rahul Bakshi and Chikkarangappa at 218.

Rana who had emerged as the leader in the opening round played some brilliant golf under trying conditions where the winds called the shots against the attacking golfers. After a strong start, Rana hit a purple patch from the fourth hole where he made four birdies on the even holes (4th, 6th, 8th and 10th) to be four-under for the day after the 10th. However, Rana lost his tempo for a brief while on the 12th and 13th which cost him dearly as he lost four shots making double bogeys on each of them. Gaining confidende Rana birdied the 15th and saw that he did not commit any further mistakes in his round. "It is really disappointing. I was playing some good golf and those two holes did me in," said Rana.

Meanwhile Gagan Verma made a dream start making birdies on the first two holes. However the lanky golfer committed mistakes on the third and seventh resulting in bogeys which nullified his good effort as he took the turn at even par. With an early birdie on the 11th, Gagan was back to under par score. As he was cruising along, a bogey on the 15th and the finishing hole, he was forced to be tied for the lead.

Top scores after 54 holes: 213 Vikram Rana (70, 72, 71), Gagan Verma (72, 68, 73); 216 Rashid Khan (71, 76, 69), Abhinav Lohan (72, 72, 72); 217 Manav Das (75, 69, 73), HS Kang (74, 68, 75); 218 Rahul Bakshi (78, 70, 70), Chikkarangappa (74, 69, 75); 220 Saurav Bahuguna (72, 74, 74); 221 Abhishek Jha (75, 75, 71); 222 Simarjeet Singh (76, 74, 72), Karan Vasudeva (74, 74, 74); 224 Siddharth Seth (72, 81, 71), Karan Singh (73, 75, 76), Arshdeep Tiwana (71, 77, 76), Jasjeet Singh (72, 75, 77) UNI MSP MV SKB1857

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