Brilliant Perera in sight of crown

SriLankan cards superb eight-under 64

Brilliant Perera in sight of crown

Pace-setter Mithun Perera moved into overdrive mode to prime himself for a second straight title on the PGTI Tour here on Friday.

In blistering form since the start of the Standard Chartered Open in Colombo last week, the portly Sri Lankan carded a flawless third-round eight-under 64 (195) to open up a commanding six-shot lead in the Eagleburg Open at the Eagleton Golf Resort.

Home boy and defending champion Anirban Lahiri fought back brilliantly from a shocking triple-bogey eight on the fourth hole to stay second at 201, thanks to a six-under show on the back-nine en route 68, while Moinuddin Malak stayed put in third place after a 68 (205).

Perera, who changed his irons before the Standard Chartered Open, appears to be in a completely different zone. While most players tend to take time during equipment change, the 28-year-old seems to have taken to it like duck to water -- 43-under over the last seven rounds a true indication of that.

The ever-smiling Lankan struck the ball beautifully and chipped and putted well, wanting to make the most of the benign conditions that were on offer again. He brought his first birdie on second and switched several gears up from the eight, firing six on the trot before tightening his grip on the title with a birdie on the 15th.
Trailing by two shots overnight, Lahiri needed a solid round to overtake the rampaging Perera but things took a turn for the worse on the par-5 fourth hole. After hitting his first drive out of bounds, Lahiri found the water hazard on his second attempt from the tee that resulted in the costly triple. Forced to play catch-up since then, the 27-year-old did that well, posting seven birdies to give himself an outside chance.
“I wasn’t being able to focus on the first seven holes today,” said Lahiri who is making small swing adjustment.

Leading scores (after 54 holes): 195: Mithun Perera (65, 66, 64); 201: Anirban Lahiri (68, 65, 68); 205: Moinuddin Malak (69, 68, 68); 206: K Prabhagaran (68, 71, 67), N Thangaraja (68, 69, 69); 207: Anura Rohana (71, 68, 68), Manav Jaini (69, 69, 69), Mukesh Kumar (69, 69, 69), Shamim Khan (71, 67, 69); 208: Rahil Gangjee (73, 69, 66), Himmat Singh Rai (71, 67, 70), Vijay Kumar (69, 68, 71).

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