Lahiri third, Jeev joint fourth at Hong Kong Open golf

Hong Kong, Oct 24 (IANS) Leading Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri fired a five-under 65 to be third, while compatriot, veteran Jeev Milkha Singh also got a 65 to be tied fourth after the third and penultimate round of the $2 million UBS Hong Kong Open here on Saturday.

Current Asian Tour leader Lahiri took his three-day total to 11-under 199 — four strokes behind joint leaders Justin Rose of England (64) and Denmark’s Lucas Bjerregaard (63). Jeev shared the fourth spot with Englishman Matthew Fitzpatrick on 200 at the Hong Kong Golf Club.

Lahiri got off to a poor start with a bogey on the par-three first hole. But he got a birdie on the second to recover. But he turned the heat in the back-nine by getting birdies on the 10th, 11th, 13th, 16th and 17th holes.

“I was not very focused on the front nine. But I calmed down a little bit and by the eighth, ninth hole, I started hitting it a little more solid. It was good to get birdies on 10 and 11 as they got me into the right zone mentally. I was just focusing on giving myself opportunities, and it was good,” Lahiri said in an Asian Tour release.

“You want to get as close as possible, because if it gets into a match-play position, then they can play totally differently and separate themselves from the field. But hopefully I can play some good golf, play 18 holes tomorrow like I did on the back nine and maybe have a sniff.”

Jeev also turned on the afterburners in his back-nine after struggling with an outward 35.

The Asian Tour honorary member fired three successive birdies from the 10th before going on to pick up three more birdies in his last four holes.

“Honestly it was a shaky start but got my bearings right after I made two birdies. But what got me going was on the 10th hole, I got very lucky. It jumped over the water and stayed up. I chipped it to about two feet and birdied it,” the 37-year-old said.

“I’m in better shape and I’m working a lot on my mental side. I think everything should fall in place and I’m ready to see what comes my way.”

Two shots and five positions behind Jeev was Gaganjeet Bhullar, who scored a 67.

Among other Indians in the fray, Rahill Gangjee scored a 68 to be tied 15th on the 54-hole total of six-under 204.

S.S.P. Chawrasia dropped 18 places to be tied 37th on 207 as total after scoring one-over 71 on Friday. Former Asian Tour champion Jyoti Randhawa was tied 44th on 208 following a 68 in the third round of the tournament sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour.

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