Selangor, Malaysia: Riding on a brilliant front-nine, Anirban Lahiri closed the gap between him and leader Pariya Junhasavasdikul of Thailand with a four-under 67 in the third round of the Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters on Saturday.
Lahiri started the day seven shots behind the leader Pariya and carded a four-under 67 to reduce the deficit to just three shots.
Lahiri is now five-under 208 in sole fourth position and is seeking a fourth Asian Tour victory and his first outside of his country.
Abhinav Lohan (72), 10th overnight, looked like further improving his position before hitting a rough patch with three bogeys over last four holes and dropping to tied 22nd.
C Muniyappa, playing on a medical exemption, carded a 72 and moved up from 60th to tied 49th at six-over 219. Abhijit Chadha (77) stayed in tied 60th place.
Pariya was eight-under 205 and one shot behind him was Korea's Baek Seuk-hyun after shooting a level-par 71 in the third round. Malaysian amateur Gavin Green (70) stayed in third spot at six-under 207.
Lahiri improved from sixth to fourth, while Thai Thanyakon Khroongpha of Thailand shot 67 and moved from tenth to fifth.
Lahiri was all smiles as he said, "I'm happy with the way I played. I got off to a great start. I think I have to combine my two back nines together because I played well on the backside and good on the front today."
"Four-under (67) is a pretty good score out here. It was a little bit easier because it was a bit cooler. I was hitting the ball solid and placing my ball well especially on the front nine," he added.
"I'm happy that I've given myself a shouting chance. Three shots is not much on this golf course. On this golf course, you can't really think about what numbers to shoot. You have to go out there and execute every shot so well. If you start getting ahead of yourself then you are finished. I'm going to go out there and take each shot as it comes," Lahiri said.
On Friday, Lahiri went out in 29 from the back-nine and hopes to put the two halves together for a title shot.
Pariya chasing a second Asian Tour victory, could have earned a bigger cushion but bogeyed his last hole at the challenging Seri Selangor Golf Club while close friend Baek also returned a 71 which included a costly triple bogey seven on his 16th hole.
Young Malaysian Gavin Green birdied his last hole for a 70 in third place, two back of Pariya, as he kept up his chase to become only the fourth amateur to win on the Asian Tour, which is celebrating its milestone 10th season this year.
Without a top-10 this season, Pariya, who won the Mercuries Taiwan Masters in 2010, has been rock steady on the ultra-demanding Seri Selangor course, which is running hard and fast.
He made two birdies against just as many bogeys for a three-day total of eight-under 205 but left with a bitter taste in the mouth after dropping a shot on the 18th.
"I didn't do anything much. I didn't take advantage of the par-fives. Having an even-par round is still okay as I didn't lose any spots, so hopefully I can take advantage of the par fives tomorrow," said Pariya, who has led the tournament since the first round.