Bangalore: Defending champion and local favourite Anirban Lahiri edged past overnight leader Amardip Sinh Malik with a one under 71 in round three to shot into lead in the BILT Open here on Friday.
Lahiri’s overall score is now nine under 207, one stroke clear of Malik, who shot a one over 73 on Friday to end the day in second position.
Lahiri (68-68-71) began round three in style as he hit a terrific bunker shot on the first that set up an easy birdie putt which helped him draw level Malik (64-71-73).
He then opened up a three-stroke lead when he birdied the par-five fifth and Malik double-bogeyed the same hole after finding the hazard.
Malik pulled one stroke back when he hit it within eight feet on the par-three eighth and then sank the birdie putt. Just when Lahiri seemed to be on course to build on his lead, he dropped consecutive bogeys on the 10th and 11th to slip back into the joint lead along with Malik.
Lahiri found the water with his tee shot on the 10th and hit his second shot out of bounds on the 11th but his fortunes were on the ascent once again after he birdied the 12th and 15th.
The reigning champion stumbled with a bogey on the 18th as he missed an up and down from the fringe. This resulted in Lahiri closing the day with a one-shot lead over Malik.
Vijay Kumar shot a 70 to be placed third at six under 210. Chiragh Kumar, Digvijay Singh and Manav Jaini lie tied fourth at five under 211.
Gaganjeet Bhullar fired a 74 to be placed tied 10th at two under 214. Sudhir Sharma and Raju Ali Mollah’s scores of 68 were the best of the day. Both Sudhir and Raju ended the day in tied 17th at even par 216.