Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Anirban Lahiri of India shot matching 2-under 69s in the third round of the Bermuda Championship on Saturday to stay firmly in contention for a maiden PGA TOUR victory.
Kiradech made five birdies against three bogeys on another wind-swept day at Port Royal Golf Course for a three-day total of 7-under 206 and enters the final round in tied eighth place, three shots back of leader Doc Redman who carded a 67.
Lahiri ended the day a further stroke back in a share of 11th place but the Indian, who made six birdies, two bogeys and one double bogey, is feeling optimistic as he continues his resurgence in form.
With winds gusting up to 40kmh, Kiradech fought hard and ended his day with a closing birdie from two feet after rifling a nine iron approach to within two feet of the pin. “I have stuck to my game plan the last two rounds and played some solid golf, rolled the ball quite well and got up and down a few times except for 15 and 16 which I’m upset about. However, it was nice to finish with a birdie,” said the 31-year-old Thai star, who has two career third-place finishes on TOUR as his best results to date.
“The way I play in the wind, it’s been good. Hopefully I get a chance (to win) tomorrow. I’ve been struggling for a bit and hopefully this week is a turning point. I’ve picked up a lot of good stuff this week, a lot of confidence and hitting great shots and seeing a lot of good golf swings. It might be fun tomorrow.”
Lahiri knows he needs to reduce the unforced errors to give himself a shot at winning on the PGA TOUR. With 15 birdies through three rounds, he currently ranks tied first for most birdies made. “It was a bit of a grind but it was not as tough as yesterday,” said the Indian star, who is playing in his sixth season on TOUR.
“I played quite well but managed to make enough mistakes. Felt like I was a bit loose and gave away two or three shots that I should not have. I’m happy with the way I struck the ball especially on the back nine which was playing harder today. Disappointed to finish with a bogey again … it leaves a bad taste in the mouth but that’s okay. Looking forward to tomorrow.”
He remains confident of launching a title challenge on Sunday despite being four behind. Lahiri is playing in his sixth successive season on the PGA TOUR, with a runner-up finish at the 2017 Memorial Tournament being his career best finish.
“Tomorrow, my goal will be to keep a clean card and if I can minimize my errors, I feel I’m playing well enough to make a bunch of birdies and hopefully down the stretch give myself a chance. Everything after that is a bonus. I’m excited and looking forward to a nice Sunday. Hopefully we can make some magic,” said Lahiri.
“Conditions will be better for scoring. It’ll be interesting with the two-tee start as it won’t be much of a difference in terms of the course conditions as opposed to a one tee start. Tomorrow everyone will play in a two-hour window and conditions will be the same for everyone. I’m feeling good, confident.”
Third-Round Notes – Saturday, October 31, 2020
Weather: Partly cloudy, with a high of 73. Wind NNW at 15-20 mph, with gusts to 25 mph.
Doc Redman 65-71-67—203 (-10)
Ryan Armour 64-70-70—204 (-9)
Wyndham Clark 66-68-70—204 (-9)
Kramer Hickok 67-68-69—204 (-9)