Ahmedabad, Jan 15 (PTI) Home hero Gaganjeet Bhullar tooka stranglehold of the inaugural Gujarat Kensville Challengeafter creating a four-shot lead on the third day of the Euro200,000 event, which marks the start of the 2011 ChallengeTour season.
Bhullar, bidding to become the first Indian to triumph onthe Challenge Tour, shot a four-under par as he fired fourbirdies on his front nine before slowing down on the back ninein a superb display at the Jeev Milkha Singh-designedKensville Golf Club.
His round of 68, which featured just one blemish on theeighth hole, moved Bhullar to a total of eight-under par, fourshots clear of his nearest challenger Matthew Baldwin ofEngland.
Overnight joint leader Florian Praegant shot a one over73 to slip to the third position while Bangladesh''s SiddikurRahman and England''s Matt Ford were tied for the fourth placeat two-under.
Among the other Indians, Manav Jaini was the next best attied-14th position with a total of 2-over 218.
Raju Ali Mollah, Ashok Kumar and Vinod Kumar were tiedfor the 16th position at three-over 219.
After capping a brilliant day, Bhullar said, "I wasn''tplaying safe after the turn. I was just trying to keep theball on the fairway and try to hit the middle of the green,irrespective of the pin position."
"In the final round, I''m just going to keep the samepolicy of trying to hit every fairway and green, and hopefullyconvert a few birdies if I can. It would be great to begin theseason with a victory," he added.
In contrast to his playing partner, Praegant endured adifficult day, reaching the turn in 40 after carding threebogeys and a double bogey at the fourth hole for the secondday in succession.
But to his credit the Austrian staged a miraculous laterally to sign for a round of 73 which moved him to third placeon three under par.
Baldwin is one place higher and one shot closer to theleader after notching four birdies in his round of 70.
The Englishman birdied the third, sixth, ninth and 15thholes, but gave shots back at the fifth and 13th.
Baldwin''s compatriot Matt Ford is tied fourth with a twounder par alongside Bangladesh''s Siddikur Rahman.
England''s Gary Lockerbie and Denmark''s Mads Vibe-Hastrupshare sixth place after both men compiled rounds of 69.