Paris: Anirban Lahiri, making the cut after roller-coaster rides on first two days, played steady golf on the third to bring in a card of one-under 70, his best thus far at the Alstom Open de France on Saturday.
That brought Lahiri to three-over 216 for 54 holes and he was tied 49th for the tournament. He improved eight spots after being tied 57th at the end on Friday.
Experiencing different fortunes on the two nines of Le National both days, Lahiri, who made the cut on the line, had two birdies on the front nine and just one bogey on the back nine.
It was clear that he wanted to negotiate the backstretch of the course more carefully and not drop shots as he had on first two days. Lahiri winner of Hero Indian Open and Malaysian Open this year, dropped three shots on back on first day and seven on the second day, including five in last four.
India's other two players, Shiv Kapur and Jeev Milkha Singh had missed the cut.
Meanwhile Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee surged into contention with a stunning start to his third round on Saturday. Thongchai began the day six shots off the lead having made the halfway cut with two shots to spare on two over par at Le Golf National. He birdied each of the first six holes to share the lead at that stage, but then ended the day at six-under 65. He was later overtaken and the Thai is now tied 10th.
On a day when scoring was way better than first two days, Jacob Van Zyl was in lead at nine-under after being six-under through 17 holes in third round. Max Kieffer (65) was second at eighth-under, while Bernd Wiesberger and Jams Morrison are tied third at seven-under.
Martin Kaymer and Victor Dubuisson are among those at six-under but they have a couple of holes still to play.
Rafael Cabrera-Bello, overnight leader at four under par, was still there, and had dropped to tied ninth, but he had three more holes to play.