New Delhi: Indian golfer SSP Chowrasia shot a sparkling six-under 66 to lie four-strokes behind Bangladesh`s Mohammad Siddikur who continued to lead the field with a sizzling 67 on the third day of the USD 1.25 million Hero Indian Open here today.
Kolkata-golfer Chowrasia (69, 68), who finished runner-up twice in the Indian Open, was an picture of consistency as he blasted seven birdies -- four of them in the last five holes -- against one bogey to take his three-day total to 13-under 203.
Rashid Khan, who recently won the Bilt Open, fired the best card of the day -- a spectacular seven-under 65 -- to lie five strokes behind Siddikur at tied third at the Delhi Golf Course here.
Earlier in the day, Rahil Gangjee was leading the Indian charge but a couple of doubles bogeys spoilt his chances. He slipped to finally settle for a one-over 73 that took his total to eight-under.
He was at tied eighth along with compatriot Chirag Kumar (69).
Anirban Lahiri too was in contention early in the day before a couple of double bogeys at the ninth and 13th holes pulled him down. But he recovered with three back-to-back birdies from 14th to 16th to finish at the fifth spot with a round of 67.
Angelo Que of Philippines was tied third along with Rashid after bringing home a five-under 67, while Unho Park of Australia also carded a seven-under 65 to share the sixth spot with compatriot Adam groom, who carded a two-under 70 today.
Sanjay Kumar and Shankar Das were tied 12th after carding 72 and 73 respectively for a total of six-under 210. Manav Jaini was tied 19th with a total of 211.
After a 66 yesterday, Shiv Kapur came up with a modest one-under 71 to lie tied 24th, while Shamim Khan too was at tied 24th with an even-par 72 for a total of four-under 212.
Starting the day five strokes behind Siddikur, Chowrasia had an excellent back nine as he blasted four birdies in the last five holes.
Chowrasia also picked up strokes on the second, seventh and eighth holes against just one dropped shot at the sixth hole.
"My hitting wasn`t very accurate to begin with as I kept hitting it left and right. I feel I really got going from the 14th onwards as I started finding the centre of the fairway," said Chowrasia, who won the 2008 Indian Masters at the DGC.
"My only bogey of the day came on the sixth where I found the bushes on the left and had to take a penalty drop. However, I didn`t let that bother me as I picked up birdies on the next two holes. I
"It`s great to end with four birdies on the last five holes. It gives me a lot of momentum going into the final round. I did not play very aggressive golf but instead focussed on consistency. I have very good memories from this course and I would like to use that to my advantage in the final round," he added.
Asked about his target tomorrow, Chowrasia said: "Siddikur has been playing some top quality golf. He has also done well at this venue in the past. I`ll have to shoot somewhere in the region of seven-under to put up a stiff challenge on the final day. In a way it`s good to be on the leader`s tail as all the pressure is usually on the leader."
Eagar to break his jinx at the challenging Delhi Golf Course, Siddikur turned in another flawless performance as he birdied the fourth, eighth, 11th, 14th and 18th hole to total 17-under 199.
"I had the best week of my career. I had the best putting, mentally I am stronger and focussed. Overall it was the best golf that I have played. When I won in Brunei in 2010, I was young. It was the beginning of my career and I played for money, to save my card but now I am not playing for money, I am playing to achieve something," the 29-year-old said.
Siddikur, who finished second at the 2011 SAIL Open and 2012 Panasonic Open India at the DGC, said: "I didn`t take any pressure and tried to avoid looking at the leaderboard but sometimes it becomes unavoidable so I had a glimpse at the board at 13th and 16th holes.