New Delhi: Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri continued his dominance and turned in a creditable five-under 67 despite some self-confessed silly mistakes to take a three-stroke lead after the third round of the SAIL-SBI Open on Friday.
Lahiri signed for a three-day total of 15-under 201 at the Delhi Golf Club with Australia`s Scott Barr beginning to pile on the pressure on the Indian leader when he returned with his best score of 65 to take a share of the second place alongside Thailand`s Prom Meesawat on 204.
Gaganjeet Bhullar and P Gulfam signed for matching 207s to take the tied fourth spot at the USD 300,000 full field Asian Tour event.
Lahiri, who started on the front-nine, opened with a birdie but dropped a shot on the par-four second.
The 23-year-old then responded with two further birdies on the third and fourth holes before adding another on the ninth hole to turn in 33.
Lahiri seemed to be surging ahead after carding another three birdies in five holes after the turn. However two successive bogeys on the 15th and 16th holes led to some anxious moments for the Indian before he restored order with a closing birdie on the 18th.
"I`ll take my 67 anytime today. I made a few silly mistakes which cost me a few bogeys. I could have done without those but overall I`m still happy," said Lahiri.
"It`s never nice to give away shots but that was how it was today and I`ve take that and come back tomorrow and play well again," added Lahiri.
Barr is hoping that his red-hot putter will continue to sink in those crucial putts as he seeks to win his maiden Asian Tour title this week.
"It was great. I probably left a couple of shots out there but today I holed a couple of nice putts. I`m putting better than ever and it`s nice," said the Australian.
Barr reached the turn in 34 after birdies on the third and fourth holes. He then stormed home with a birdie blitz that included five birdies in his last seven holes.
"Anything is possible tomorrow and we`ll wait till we get to the back-nine. Hopefully I can put some pressure there and we`ll take it from there," said Barr.
Meanwhile, Prom parred all the holes in his front-nine before rallying back with four birdies in his homeward run to keep himself in contention for his second Asian Tour win.
"I didn`t drop any shots today and that has given me lots of motivation going into tomorrow. There was nothing special with my front-nine but I`m happy I came back strongly with four birdies in my back nine," said Prom.
The SAIL-SBI Open is the second of the four events scheduled to be played in India on the Asian Tour this season.