Bangkok: Anirban Lahiri continued his great run this season, playing a sharp round of five-under 67 to move to tied second at the end of day three at the USD one million Thailand Golf Championship here.
With one more round to go, Spaniard Sergio Garcia (65) seemed to run away from the field opening a four-shot lead over Henrik Stenson (65) and Lahiri (67). The trio will go out in the lead group on Saturday.
"I am looking forward to that," said Lahiri. "Those two guys are great players and it should be fun playing with them."
Gaganjeet Bhullar (69) and Sujjan Singh (71) ensured they were in the neighbourhood, even if some distance away at eight-under 208 in the crowded 11th place alongside defending champion and former Masters winner, Charl Schwartzel (67), PGA Tour player DA Points (66) and Asian Tour No. 1 Kiradech Aphibarnrat (71) and five others.
Jeev Milkha Singh, the fourth Indian to make the cut this week, shot two-under 70 with six birdies and four bogeys to be way behind in tied 50th place.
Justin Rose (70) dropped a bogey on the last and was fourth at 13-under, while Frenchman Alexander Levy (70) was fifth two shots behind.
Lahiri started very well with birdies on second and third though he dropped a shot on fourth. But when he birdied seventh, he was momentarily in shared lead with Garcia at 11-under. On the back nine, he birdied 11th, 16th and 17th which has a Island green.
He said, "I'm very happy because I didn't hit the ball very good but I played really sharp golf, and that's good to see because I've been waiting for that to come around and I'm happy that I'm able to focus and get up-and-down when I miss it, and make some putts."
He admitted, "Yeah, Sergio is running away with it almost, so I'm glad I'm still within touching distance. Again, I can't really go into tomorrow expecting anything. I just want to play solid."
Lahiri said he has played low rounds in succession before and so was not under pressure. "In the past I have followed up 64s with 65s, and sometimes better. So I don't feel that pressure so much."
Bhullar, who had four birdies against one bogey on ninth, had mixed feelings.
"I could have shot lower, maybe 66, but what matters is that in the end one has to execute it. I am learning from my mistakes and that's what I am going to take from here. My game was pretty much and putting, too. Some of the putts lipped out, but I felt good about my iron play," he said.
Sujjan summing up his round said: "It was a roller-coaster with two chip-in, two bogeys from fairway on par-fives and a birdie from edge of the green."
He added: "I started with a ridiculous chip-in from way over the green, it went over a downslope and in it went. Then I had good birdies on second and sixth." His other chip-in was on 16th.
But he was disappointed with his par-fives.
"I unfortunately dropped shots on par-5 from the centre of the fairway. On seventh the ball was lying perfectly fine on the fairway and I made bogey. Then I made great par save on ninth with a 20-footer. But again on 11th, I had a 5-Iron shot on the fairway and I ended with a bogey on that par-5, too."
Leader Garcia was in his usual cheerful mood. "It was great obviously to be able to go out there and shoot 65 again (for second straight day)."
But Garcia was not overconfident as he added: "Not only Henrik, there's probably five or six guys that can shoot a really good number and put it in danger for me. So yeah, it's going to be nice."
When asked if having his girlfriend, Katharina Boehm, on the bag had helped, he winked and laughed as he said, "I think if she was not be on the bag, I would probably be like 25-under."
Turning serious he added, "No, seriously, it's great to have her around, forget about having her on the bag this week. But just very positive person, a lot of good energy, that's what I love about her, and it's great to be able to go through this with her."