David Gleeson signalled his intention of ending a three-year title drought on the Asian Tour by shooting a sizzling six-under-par 66 in the third round of the Hero Indian Open on Saturday.
The Australian was three shots off the pace after the second round but peppered the flags with accurate iron shots for a three-day total of 16-under-par 200 at the Delhi Golf Club to hold a one-shot lead over India's Chiragh Kumar.
Overnight leader Kumar rued a cold putter as he posted a 70 while Taiwan's Lu Wei-chih and Scotland's Ross Bain were a further four shots back on 205 in the $1.25 million Asian Tour event.
Gleeson got off to a fast start with two opening birdies before turning in 34. He sparked into life in his homeward nine with five birdies against one bogey where his approach shot flew over the 18th 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," said Gleeson.
He has been enjoying a rich vein of form since finishing second at the Macau Open last month but is not taking his lead for granted.
"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," said the two-time Asian Tour winner, whose last victory was in 2008.
Kumar, a 2006 Asian Games team silver medallist, turned in 34 highlighted by three birdies against one bogey but failed to convert his birdie chances on the back nine where 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 every day. It was just one of those days," said Kumar, who is seeking his maiden Asian Tour victory.
Lu put himself in a good position to secure back-to-back victories after charging up the leader board with a 12-yard chip-in birdie on seven 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 a 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.