New Delhi – India’s S.S.P. Chawrasia
grabbed the top spot at the Hero Indian Open Saturday after he carded a
four-under-par 68 in the third round, holding a two-shot lead ahead of the
Chawrasia, a three-time Asian Tour winner,
surged past overnight leader Terry Pilkadaris of Australia, recording four
birdies to lead on 14-under-par 202 at the challenging Delhi Golf Club course.
A second-place finisher in four previous
Indian Opens, Chawrasia hopes to lift the trophy on Sunday to inch closer to
his Olympic dream.
“Honestly, the Hero Indian Open is a
very important tournament for me and for sure I want to win it because I have
finished second over here four times,” the 37-year-old said.
“If I win this one, then 100 percent
sure I am going to play in the Olympics,” he said.
Chawrasia was defeated by Indian defending
champion and reigning Asian Tour number one Anirban Lahiri in a play-off last
year. He also finished second in 1999, 2006 and 2013.
Chawrasia toppled Pilkadaris from the top
spot Saturday after the 42-year-old Australian ended the day one-over 73, placing
him two shots off the pace.
Pilkadaris, without a win since 2005,
struggled after he suffered two bogeys on his first three holes and managed
only two birdies during round three.
India’s Lahiri and Rashid Khan, who won his
first Asian Tour title at the Delhi course, are the closest challengers, with
both 10-under-par going into the final day of the tournament.
Lahiri rose rapidly on Saturday, finishing
the day five-under 67 with four birdies on the front-nine with no bogeys.
The event, sanctioned by the Asian Tour and
European Tour for the second straight year, carries an enhanced prize purse of
Scores after third round:
202 – S.S.P Chawrasia (IND) 67-67-68
204 – Terry Pilkadaris (AUS) 67-64-73
206 – Anirban Lahiri (IND) 68-71-67, Rashid Khan (IND) 69-68-69
207 – Rahil Gangjee (IND) 69-72-66, Jeunghun Wang (KOR) 67-74-66, Sebastien Gros (FRA) 69-70-68, Adilson Da Silva (BRA) 72-66-69
208 – Arjun Atwal (IND) 70-71-67, N. Thangaraja (SRI) 69-71-68, Julien Quesne (FRA) 70-68-70, Alejandro Canizares (ESP) 68-69-71, Jorge Campillo (ESP) 66-71-71