Bangalore: Anirban Lahiri followed up his blistering 62 with an equally impressive eight-under-64 in round three to build a five-stroke lead at the PGTI Eagleburg Open here on Thursday.
The local favourite's total score now reads 17-under-199. Lucknow's Sanjay Kumar held on to second place with a 68 in round three which moved his overall score to 12-under-204.
Lahiri (73-62-64) had a terrific start to the day as he landed his approach shots from a distance of about 100 yards to within a couple of feet on both the first and second holes to collect two birdies at the Eagleton Golf Resort.
Lahiri, the overnight leader by one shot, made pars on the next seven holes even as Kumar drew level with him at the turn.
Lahiri started to pull away from Kumar thanks to a well-timed 15-feet eagle conversion from the back fringe of the green on the 10th.
Lahiri then had an outstanding run of six birdies against two bogeys on the last eight holes that helped him consolidate his lead. He landed his approach within five feet for birdie on the 11th and found the par-5 15th green in two shots to set up another birdie.
The 26-year-old sank birdie putts from a range of 15 to 20 feet on the 13th, 14th and 17th holes.
"I enjoyed a good start today but Sanjay (Kumar) grabbed more chances on the front-nine and drew level with me on the ninth. I needed some momentum at that stage and the 15-feet eagle putt on the 10th did the trick for me. There was no looking back from there on as I putted much better on the back-nine," Lahiri said.
"Interestingly, I didn't have a single par on the back-nine. I wasn't that accurate off the tee today but hit some great approach shots with the wedges," added Lahiri, who is looking to win his second title in two weeks.
Kumar (69-67-68), hung in there with a 68 to hold on to second place.
Kumar, who will celebrate his 42nd birthday during the final round tomorrow, made five birdies against a lone bogey in round three.
Kumar, a winner of four professional titles, had an amazing run of five consecutive birdies from the seventh to the 11th hole before he dropped his only bogey of the day on the 12th. He converted birdie putts from a range of six to eight feet from the seventh to the 10th. He landed his second shot within a foot of the flag for birdie on the 11th.
Bangalore's S Chikkarangappa (72-67-66) fired a 66 on his home course to climb from overnight tied fourth into third place.
He made an eagle, six birdies and two bogeys in the third round to take his total score to 11-under-205.
Rahil Gangjee of Kolkata is in fourth place at 10-under-206 while Gurgaon's Arshpreet Thind occupies the fifth position at nine-under-207.