Thailand: Jyoti Randhawa shrugged off his poor form to card four-under 67 to move into tied seventh place at the end of the third round in the Queen`s Cup golf tournament on Saturday.
However, Anirban Lahiri, who was tied eighth yesterday, slipped down to 15th position after the third round at the Santiburi Samui Country Club.
The 39-year-old Randhawa, who has struggled with his form for the past year or so, seemed to have found some of the rhythm that once made him Asian Tour No. 1. He has eight wins on the Asian Tour but he last won in 2009.
While Randhawa was the best of the four Indians who made the cut, Lahiri (73) was 15th, Himmat Rai (75) was 30th and Digvijay Singh (75) was 50th.
Meanwhile, Thailand`s Chawalit Plaphol put himself in prime position to end a five-year title drought after grabbing the third round lead. The 36-year-old Chawalit battled to a three-under-par 68 on another tough scoring day to lead by one stroke from countryman Somkiat Srisanga (69) and Daisuke Maruyama of Japan (71) in the USD 300,000 Asian Tour event.
On a day when blustery winds and heavy rain forced a suspension of play for 45 minutes in the afternoon, Randhawa was one of the most successful players in Asian Tour history. He had eight birdies, four on either side of the course, but he also gave away four bogeys. He had two bogeys on the front nine and the same number on the back stretch.
Lahiri, who is battling a shoulder injury, suffered three double bogeys in his 73. He also had five birdies one other bogey. Himmat had just one birdie but three bogeys and a double bogey in his 75. Digvijay had three birdies, but he also dropped a double bogey and four other bogeys.
Australia`s Gavin Flint returned a 69 to lie two back, while joint overnight leader Jbe Kruger of South Africa slipped three off the pace after a 73 alongside Prayad Marksaeng of Thailand, who shot a 70.
Chawalit, who leads on eight-under-par 205, is relishing the opportunity to savour victory as his last title was the Bangkok Airways Open in 2006 at Santiburi Samui. He could also complete a unique double as he has won the King`s Cup here previously before it became an Asian Tour event.
Chawalit, a two-time Asian Tour winner, reckons if he keeps driving well, he would be the last man standing. After two dismal seasons, the 37-year-old Somkiat surged into contention for a first Asian Tour victory. His cause has been helped by the most unlikely of allies in countryman Prom Meeesawat`s wife, Supichaya, who is caddying for him this week.
Maruyama, fresh from a runner-up finish at the Japan Golf Tour Championship two weeks ago, battled to three birdies against as many bogeys. He is bracing for a tough fight on Sunday, saying Chawalit was too good a golfer to give up his