Noida: Despite a two-over card of 73, Viraj Madappa was sitting on a 14-shot lead at the end of the third round of the IGU Uttar Pradesh Juniors at the Noida Golf Course on Thursday.
The Kolkata lad, who has a three-day total of one-under 212, is almost sure to win unless he messes up his final round Friday.
Feroz Singh Garewal was placed second at 226, while Tanvir Kahlon and Pukhraj Singh Gill shared the third spot at 228.
Jairaj Singh Sandhu was fifth at 229. Three players - Ritwick Jain, Raghubir Choudhary and Prakhar Asawa - were tied for the sixth place at 230.
In Category B, Tanvir Kahlon led the field with a 54-hole total of 228. Karandeep Kochhar was second at 233, while Kartik Sharma was third at 237.
Arjun Puri and Udayajit Bhalotia occupied the fourth and fifth places at 238 and 239, respectively. Hassan Rahman was sixth at 240.
Viraj, who had shot a brilliant five-under 66 yesterday, was in a defensive mode on Thursday. Armed with a four-shot lead, Viraj made no mistake except on the par-3 fourth hole where he made a bogey to cross over at one-over.
A similar story followed on the back-nine. He was cruising smoothly until he made a double on the penultimate hole, a par-5. However, he signed off with a birdie to submit a card of 73.
"It is a big lead and I am confident of a victory," said the leader.
"My hitting was a bit poor today. The double on the 17th was a black spot else I played according to my plan of taking it hole by hole," he said.