Lahiri in contention for title

Anirban Lahiri and Rashid Khan spearheaded an Indian charge on the leaderboard and were placed second and third respectively after the penultimate round of the $750,000 CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters here on Saturday

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Lahiri, a three-time winner on Asian Tour, and Rashid, who achieved his breakthrough win only last month in India, shot the day’s best of eight-under 64 each and zoomed to 13-under and 12-under respectively, while Australian rookie Cameron Smith Smith (67) was at 14-under.

Adding cheer to the Indian camp were SSP Chowrasia (69) at 10-under and Jyoti Randhawa (67) at nine-under.

They were tied fifth and tied seventh respectively, as four Indians figured in top-seven. Rahil Gangjee (72) was tied 24th and Arjun Atwal (73) was tied 50th.

Smith will face one of his career’s biggest tests after he posted a five-under 67 to take the third round lead.

Smith, who has enjoyed a distinguished amateur career, compiled a three-day total of 14-under 202 to head into the final round in pole position in what is only his second professional event on the Asian Tour.

Lahiri, playing flawless golf, showed why he is considered one of India’s best as he fired eight birdies against no bogeys and moved from five-under to 13-under.

Gaganjeet Bhullar, the lone Indian to make the cut, faltered on the last hole with a double bogey to slip to tied 42nd after the third round of the Volvo China Open in Shenzen on Saturday.

Bhullar, who had moved close to top-20 after the front nine, carded a 73 after rounds of 70 and 71 on the first two days.

Meanwhile, Shiv Kapur (73, 74) and Jeev Mikha Singh (76, 72) missed the cut. It was especially heartbreaking for Kapur, who was four-under with two birdies and an eagle in first four holes of the second round.

Thereafter he collapsed with four bogeys and a double on 17th for a round of 74 and missed the cut by three.

Alexander Levy will take a three-shot lead over Alvaro Quiros into the final round after a third round of three-under 69 saw the 23-year-old Frenchman move to 16-under.

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