Anirban close in on leader Mardan with a blemish-free 68
New Delhi: Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri turned in a blemish-free card of four-under 68 to stay three strokes behind leader Mamat Mardan on the penultimate day of the Panasonic Open golf tournament on Friday.
Mardan, with a three-under 69, is poised to end his five-year-old title draught, even as five Indians surged ahead to enter the top five bracket at the Delhi Golf course.
Anirban picked up four birdies to aggregate 12-under 204 and keep his hopes alive, while Manav Jaini too kept up the pressure on Mardan with a brilliant 67 to lie at the third spot with an aggregate of 11-under 205.
Jyoti Randhawa also sizzled on his home course and was five-under by 12 holes but a double bogey and a bogey at the 14th and 16th holes derailed his campaign. The Delhi golfer birdied the last hole to held things back in the end and lie tied fourth.
Mukesh Kumar (66) fired a brilliant six-under on day three to share the fourth place with Randhawa and Himmat Rai, who tumbled to two-under 70 in the third round.
Lahiri couldn`t flourish in his front nine, picking a stroke on the sixth but the Kolkata golfer sizzled on his return journey, firing birdies on the 11th, 14th and 18th holes.
"I really played well today. I was rock solid, played 33 putts and four-under today was fantastic. Of course I could have scored better but would like to focus on my positives," Anirban said.
"The conditions were good today, there was not much wind and the greens were playing quite good. I missed the trick on the front nine, some of the pins were tough," he added.
Asked if he was aggressive today, Anirban said, "I have to, I can`t be defensive. I was four strokes behind. Mardan played well today, he hit the bushes thrice but got out and hats off to him."
It is going to be fun tomorrow. Anything is possible in DGC and hopefully I will keep doing the right things tomorrow," he said.
Mardan, who won the Indian Open in 2004, scored birdies on the fourth, eighth and ninth holes to bring home a three-under 69.
"Five years is too long. I won my best Asian tour title here. I am pleased with my game and I`m focused on my game. I can`t control others but I can control my game and hope to do well tomorrow," said the 44-year-old, who won his maiden title in the 2006 Singapore Masters.