Kuala Lumpur: India's young duo of Gaganjeet Bhullar and Anirban Lahiri rode on two eagles to stay just one stroke behind the leaders in the Omega Mission Hills World Cup here on Friday.
The Indian team shot a brilliant 64 in the fourball (better ball) format and moved to 200, just one shot behind the leaders, Lam Chih Bing and Mardan Mamat of Singapore.
The Singaporeans, who started the day three ahead of India, had a 66 in the third round of the Omega Mission Hills World Cup Asian Qualifying on Friday.
Bhullar and Anirban Lahiri, shot two eagles in a flawless round of 64 at the Seri Selangor Golf Club here. Lam and Mamat fired six birdies against one bogey.
Lahiri, aiming to qualify for his first World Cup with Bhullar, fired the team's first eagle of the day on the par five fifth hole before Bhullar sank a second eagle on the 13th hole from six feet.
Lahiri, looking forward to his first World Cup appearance in November, said, "We played solid. It was a good improvement for us in the last two days. We also didn't drop a shot, which was good. "I played very well on the front nine and Gaganjeet was unstoppable on the back. Overall, it was a great team effort. There's a little bit adrenalin, fist pumping and cheering in our camp but I think it works for us. "It keeps us motivated and going forward. What we are doing is working so far. Just a matter of finishing the job tomorrow," he added.
Bhullar said, "If you look at the previous records, India has played in the World Cup for every year. It feels great to be a step closer and obviously it is an honour to play for your country.
"We had two eagles, one each. Anirban hit a seven iron (170 yards) to about three feet and the second eagle was on the 13th hole. I hit my six iron (195 yards) to six feet from the hole and sank a very nice uphill putt."
While Singapore and India were engaged in the battle for the title and a spot on the World Cup, there were four other countries battling it out for the third spot.
Malaysians powered by Shaaban Hussin and Iain Steel bounced back with a battling 63 for a 204 total to share third position with New Zealand's Michael Hendry and Gareth Paddison, who returned with a 64.
The veteran team of Mars Pucay and Antonio Lascuna of the Philippines posted a solid 63 to surge up to tied fifth on the leader board with Koreans Kim Hyung-sung and Park Sung-joon (67) on 206.