Golfer Lahiri cards 70, maintains second spot at Hotel Fitness

Fort Wayne (Indiana), Sep 13 (IANS) A double-bogey on the par-four final hole dropped Anirban Lahiri to two-under 70 as the leading Indian golfer trailed one place behind leader D.H. Lee of South Korea by three strokes after the third round of the $1 million Hotel Fitness Championship here.

World No.40 Lahiri, who was second after posting 69 and 65 in the first two rounds, on Saturday took his 54-hole total to 12-under 204 at the Sycamore Hills Golf Club.

Lahiri didn’t get a good start as he bogeyed the par-four first hole. But he overcame it with birdies on the second, fourth and fifth. The 28-year-old dropped another shot on the par-three seventh to finish the front nine at one-under 35.

In the back nine, he charged ahead with birdies the 12th, 15th and 16th holes to equalise with Lee. He made a par effort on the 17th to be four-under. But the 28-year-old took six strokes to clear the 444-yard 18th hole.

It took the sheen off the good work the Bengalurean had done in the back nine as he settled for a 70 in his first tournament of the Web.com Tour Finals — qualifying series for the Professional Golfers Association (PGA) Tour.

“I am disappointed with the way I finished. But I am happy that I hung in there. There were not many good golf shots but managed to scramble and keep myself out of trouble till the last hole. It is still a nice round of golf,” Lahiri told pgatour.com.

About his planiing on how to go into the final round, he said: “It is important to get a good start. For me, it will be important to quickly get to two, three, four-under if I can and try and just put some early pressure. You don’t want to be pushed too hard in the back nine, so I would like to get off to a good start tomorrow.”

Lee shot a 66 to grab the lead after the penultimate day, while Sam Saunders (65) was third at 11-under. Scott Harrington (66), Jonathan Byrd (67), Brett Stegmaier (69) and Lovemark (73) shared the fourth spot at 10-under 206.

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