Lahiri moves to top, Malik close second in BILT Open golf

October 29th, 2010 - 9:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, Oct 29 (IANS) Defending champion and local favourite Anirban Lahiri clawed his way to the top of the leaderboard at the BILT Open golf as he shot a one under 71 in round three here Friday.

Lahiri’s overall score has now moved to nine under 207 and he is one stroke clear of Amardip Sinh Malik, who shot a one over 73 to end the day in second position.

Anirban Lahiri (68-68-71) began round three in style as he hit a terrific bunker shot on the first that set up an easy birdie putt. This birdie helped him draw level with overnight leader Amardip Sinh Malik (64-71-73). Anirban opened up a three-stroke lead when he birdied the par-five fifth and Amardip double-bogeyed the same hole after finding the hazard.

Malik pulled one stroke back when he hit it within eight feet on the par-three eighth and then sank the birdie putt. Just when Lahiri seemed to be on course to build on his lead, he dropped consecutive bogeys on the 10th and 11th to slip back into the joint lead with Malik. Lahiri found the water with his tee shot on the 10th and hit his second shot out of bounds on the 11th.

Lahiri’s fortunes were on the ascent once again after he birdied the 12th and 15th. On the 12th he hit his approach within a few inches of the pin and on the 15th he sank a 15 feet putt.

The reigning champion stumbled with a bogey on the 18th as he missed an up and down from the fringe. This resulted in Lahiri closing the day with a one-shot lead over Malik.

“I was not as solid as I would have liked to be. It was disappointing to give away shots after setting everything up. I hit some good bunker shots to begin with but then faltered on the back nine. I generally fare better on the back nine at this course and therefore it was disappointing to drop those bogeys on the 10th and 11th,” said Lahiri.

He added, “I will just play my usual aggressive game tomorrow and if the others have to challenge me, they will have to play out of their skins.”

“I played quite well from tee to green but the putter was not hot today. I did not make any substantial putt barring one for birdie on the eighth. Nonetheless, I am happy to hang in there and stay in contention,” said Malik.

Vijay Kumar shot a 70 to be placed third at six under 210.

Chiragh Kumar, Digvijay Singh and Manav Jaini lie tied fourth at five under 211.

Gaganjeet Bhullar fired a 74 to be placed tied 10th at two under 214.

Sudhir Sharma and Raju Ali Mollah’s scores of 68 were the best of the day. Both Sudhir and Raju ended the day in tied 17th at even par 216.

Karanjit Singh Sandhu of the DLF Golf & Country Club made a hole-in-one on the 15th. His round of 74 placed him tied 22nd at two over 218.

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