Macao, Oct 17 (IANS) Indian golfers Anirban Lahiri and Chiragh Kumar carded three-under 68 and 69 respectively to take the second and third spot after the third round of the $1 million Venetian Macao Open here on Saturday.
World No.39 Lahiri had a poor start by getting a bogey at the first hole but chipped in for an eagle on the par-four eighth hole to recover at the Macau Golf and Country Club.
The defending champion then picked up two more birdies on the 14th and 16th for a three-day total of 12-under 201 (66-67-68) — three shots behind leader and last year’s runner-up Scott Hend (66-68-64) of Australia.
Last year, current Asian Tour leader Lahiri trailed Hend by two shots at the end of the third day’s play but managed to win by one stroke. And this year, he has a bigger challenge to overcome.
“We had a great time last year. Two years back, he was way ahead and I almost chased him down. Last year I managed to chase him down. He’s probably been waiting for this for a full year. I think we’ll both be ready for it,” Lahiri said in an Asian Tour release.
The big-hitting Aussie started strongly in the penultimate group, sinking an eagle and two birdies in the opening four holes before dropping shots on fifth and seventh. But he ended the day in style with an inward 31 that included three birdies and a second eagle.
Chiragh overcame a sore neck to get birdies on the first, fifth, seventh and 12th against bogeys on the eighth and ninth for a 69 that took his total to 202 after the penultimate round.
Another Indian, Rashid Khan scored 68 to share the fourth spot with Australian Sam Brazel (69) on 203 as total after 54 holes.
Among other Indians in the fray, S.S.P. Chawrasia (68) and Rahil Gangjee (71) finished tied 13th on 206.
Two shots behind the duo were Abhijit Chadda (71) and Gaganjeet Bhullar (71) at the 22nd position, while former Asian Tour champion Jyoti Randhawa scored 71 to be tied 48th on 213 as total.
Overnight leader Hung Chien-yao of Chinese Taipei had a day to forget as he stumbled to a 77 to slip back to tied 30th place.