David Gleeson of Australia shot a 6-under 66 for the second day in a row Saturday to take a one-shot lead over Chiragh Kumar of India after the third round at the Indian Open.
Gleeson, who is hoping to end a three-year title drought on the Asian Tour, moved to 16-under 200 for the tournament.
Overnight leader Kumar, playing on his home course, shot a 2-under 70 to slip a shot back of the lead.
Lu Wei-chih of Taiwan and Ross Bain of Scotland are a further four shots back after shooting 66 and 68, respectively, during the third round for 205.
Four others are on 207, seven strokes off the lead – S.S.P. Chowrasia of India (68), Adilson Da Silva of Brazil (68), Daisuke Kataoka of Japan (69) and Chapchai Nirat of Thailand (71).
Edoardo Molinari of Italy, the top-ranked player in the field at No. 55, shot 70 and at 5-under 211 he is tied for 18th place.
Gleeson got off to a strong start with two straight birdies before turning in 34. His strong play extended to the back nine where he hit five birdies against one bogey. The lone dropped shot came on the 18th when his approach shot flew over the green and into the greenside bunker.
”It is the third day and always a tough day to find the right frame of mind. Chiragh and I both had flying starts which were great but I’m happy I hit my approach shots close to the holes,” Gleeson said.
”This course is so difficult. I’m so nervous on every hole to be thinking about anything else. I still got a lot of work to do out there,” added the two-time Asian Tour winner, whose last victory dates back to 2008.
Kumar, a 2006 Asian Games team silver medallist, went out in 34 with three birdies against one bogey. But on the return he made nine consecutive pars.
”I just didn’t read my putts as well as I did in the first two rounds. You can’t read them perfectly everyday. It was just one of those days,” said Kumar, who is searching for his maiden Asian Tour victory.
Lu put himself in position to chase back-to-back victories after his home victory in Taiwan, charging up the leader board with a 12-yard chip-in birdie on the 7th for a 66.
”My putting could have been better but I won’t complain with my score. I’m really confident after my win last week and will do my best to narrow the gap on David,” said Lu.
Bain, who is also in the hunt for his first Asian Tour victory, eagled the first hole for the second consecutive day courtesy of a monster 70-foot putt for a 68 to lie five shots off the lead.
”I hit a ridiculous putt on the first hole again and that was a bonus. It is those sort of things that happen that nullified some other putts I didn’t hole for birdies. All in all I really played well and my game is in good shape,” said the 35-year-old, who finished second in the 2001 Indian Open.