New Delhi, India: Spain’s Pablio Larrazabal had a magical eagle three on his closing hole to thank for propelling him into the clubhouse lead but has India’s S.S.P Chowrasia trailing closely after play at the Avantha Masters was suspended due to darkness on Saturday.
The Spaniard returned with a six-under-par 66 for a three-day total of 11-under-par 205 to take a slender shot lead over Chowrasia and Argentina’s Rafa Echenique who signed for matching 67s.
Philippines’ Angelo Que posted a 68 to take a share of sixth place alongside Thailand’s Chapchai Nirat, France’s Gregory Havret and Robert-Jan Derksen of the Netherlands on 207 at the DLF Golf and Country Club.
Home favourite Jeev Milkha Singh of India is nine-under-par through 13 holes while Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee is seven-under-par through 13 holes.
A total of 24 players have yet to complete their third round and will resume play at 8am local time on Sunday.
Starting his round tied for 15th, Larrazabal birdied his sixth, eight and nine holes to reach the turn in 33. He added another birdie on the par-four 10th before committing his only blemish on the 12th hole.
The Spaniard then birdied the 14th before his eagle on the last brought him to the top.
“It was one of the days where I played nicely. I made some nice par putts at the start of the round and I knew that the birdie chances would come because I was playing well,” said Larrazabal.
“The eagle at the last was the highlight obviously. I hit a nice drive and then got to the ball on the fairway and found it was in an old divot. I had 184 metres to the flag and I thought that I had to hit plenty of club to compensate for the divot. I did that, with a nice faded four -iron into about ten feet and made the putt,” added Larrazabal.
Meanwhile Chowrasia looked to have regained the form that led him to his first win when he defeated an elite field at the Indian Masters in 2008.
Starting the day tied-for 15th, Chowrasia birdied his opening par-four first. However he gave that shot back with a bogey on the sixth before hauling himself back into contention with two birdies on holes eighth and nine.
He marked his card with another birdie on the par-three 11th before dropping another shot on the 13th hole.
Three birdies starting from the par-five 14th would however surge him back up the leaderboard.
“I’m really feeling good about my game at the moment. It was solid from tee to green and I did not make many mistakes today,” said Chowrasia.
“I’m well-rested. After playing 30 holes yesterday, 18 holes today felt like a breeze and I’m feeling very comfortable,” added the Indian of his second round resumption that resulted because of a fog delay on the opening day.
Que, who is seeking his fourth Asian Tour win, mixed three birdies against two bogeys in his opening front-nine.
After reaching the turn in 35, the 32-year-old had a flawless back-nine, carding birdies on the 11th, 12th and 15th holes.
“I’ve been having fun and I’ve been hitting the ball good. However I’ve been struggling with the read on the greens. My caddie has been helping me but it’s still hard to read them over here,” said the effervescent Filipino.
Que believes that if he can hole his putts on the final day, he might emerge as the dark horse at the €1.8 million (approximately US$2.3 million) event which is tri-sanctioned by the Asian Tour, European Tour and the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI).
“I’m only two shots off the lead and I’m playing with the leader tomorrow so we’ll see how it goes. I’ll just play my own game and if I do that tomorrow with the way I’m hitting it, I might have a chance because I’ve been hitting it pretty close and it’s just that I’m not holing that many putts,” added Que.
Photo - Asian Tour
Asian Tour GolfGreedy.com