Siddikur surges into one-shot lead at SAIL-SBI Open

Updated: Mar 08, 2013, 17:16 PM IST

New Delhi: Bangladeshi Siddikur was rock steady as he carded a third straight four-under-par 68 for a one-shot lead over title holder Anirban Lahiri of India at the SAIL-SBI Open Friday.

Siddikur put himself in prime position to win a second Asian Tour title after firing five birdies against a lone bogey at the Delhi Golf Club to lead from Lahiri, who birdied his last two holes for a bogey-free 66.

Joint overnight leader Khalin Joshi battled to a 71 to end the day two strokes back in the $300,000 event while local hope Rashid Khan was a further shot behind after a 71.

Thailand`s Chapchai Nirat and Shiv Kapur will enter the final day four off the lead after rounds of 67 and 69 respectively while American Chan Kim stumbled to a 74 to fall out of contention.

"I`ve been very consistent. I`m happy with myself with three 68s. I`ve been trying to get more regulation play and it`s been working," said Siddikur, who hit 12 fairways and 14 greens in regulation.

Siddikur`s round was highlighted by a monster 40-foot birdie conversion on 16 but he said a par save on 18 after finding the punishing bushes was crucial as it kept his nose ahead of the defending champion Lahiri.

The 25-year-old Lahiri, who started the day four behind, charged into contention with a superb display of ball striking as he hit 15 greens in regulation.

"It`s the best I have played all week. I`m getting more comfortable on the greens. Just a couple of bad swings but I got away with pars which was important. Four putts kind of stood at the lip but I`m not going to complain as some fell for me in the end," said Lahiri, who is seeking a third Asian Tour victory.