Gangjee shares lead at Nationwide tourney after Rd
Idaho (USA): Indian golfer Rahil Gangjee moved within a round of winning his maiden Nationwide Tour event in his rookie year as he went into a share of the lead for the first time hammering a seven-under 64 in the third round of the Albertsons Boise Open.
Gangjee, still looking for his first top-10, shares the lead tied at 14-under 199 with another rookie Jason Kokrak (63).
A win, which would be worth USD 130,500 could propel Gangjee into the top-15 of the Nationwide Money List, from where the top-25 make the PGA Tour for 2012. Currently, Gangjee lies 102nd on the money.
The Albertsons Boise Open with USD 725,000 purse is the third richest event on Nationwide after the million dollar Tour Championships and next week`s Soboba Classic, which carried a purse of USD 750,000.
Arjun Atwal became the first Indian to win on the Nationwide in 2008 when he won the Chattanooga Classic. Daniel Chopra, who carries a Swedish passport but has an Indian father, has won three times on Nationwide, twice in 2004 and once this year Fresh Express Classic in April. Chopra missed the cut this week.
Gangjee, who shot a hole-in-one on a par-four in the last tournament, was again in a terrific form as he had two eagles on the back nine at the Hillcrest Country Club.
During one stretch from 10th to 15th, he was six-under for the six holes with two eagles and two birdies. He looked set for sole lead as he was nine-under through 17 holes, before he double-bogeyed the final hole to
fall into a share of the lead.
Gangjee had a three-putt at the par-four 18th. His second shot into the greenside rough and his chip went 20 feet past the cup.
"The lie wasn`t bad, I just caught too much club," said Gangjee.
"You could hear it clunk. The putt going up was way quicker than I thought."
He had a five-foot putt for bogey, which would have still given him sole lead, but he missed and lost the advantage.
"I was having fun out there," said the 33-year old, who raced up the leaderboard from overnight 12th.
Gangjee opened with three straight birdies on the first three holes and then parred the rest of the front nine to be turn in three-under.
Then came the sensational run as he had two eagles on short par-fours, the first of which on the 359-yard, downhill 10th.
"I hit driver so far right I thought it was out of bounds. So I hit a provisional ball. The original we found was six inches inside. Then hit a second shot, which zipped through the first tree and over the other tree and also over the bunker. It landed on the green and rolled along. It went in," he said.
He then birdied the par-four 12th and the par-three 13th.
A par on the 14th was followed by yet another memorable shot, almost like the ace on par-four the previous week at Mylan Classic.
This time on the short 293-yard par-4 he hit his 3-wood within 15 feet and sank the eagle.
The 26-year-old Canadian Kokrak during his 63 had six straight birdies in first six holes and set the clubhouse lead before being joined by Gangjee in the afternoon.
Luke List (67), Canada`s David Hearn (67), Martin Flores (67), Billy Horschel (68) and Troy Merritt (69) share third place, one stroke back at 13-under.