After opening with two uneventful 72s at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club, the EurAsia Cup star burst into life with six birdies for a bogey-free card which propelled him to joint 14th place after the third round of the US$2.75 million event sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour.
Lahiri, who finished third on the Asian Tour Order of Merit last season and earned two points in Asia’s memorable draw with Europe in the inaugural EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM in Malaysia last month, was delighted to make his big move on a sweltering day in the Malaysian capital.
“I’m happy, really happy with how I played. I’ve been playing good the last two days, just wasn’t making putts. I came out and just putted much better. I’ve been working on it and it’s nice to have that improved. I was probably trying a bit too hard the last two rounds and just relaxed a little bit playing with Rashid Khan and Pariya Junhasavasdikul. It was a great day,” said the 26-year-old, who is eight shots behind leader Lee Westwood of England.
“In the last couple of days, I was trying a bit too hard. I was anxious and wanted very badly to make everything. I was getting in my own way a little bit and it was good to play nicely today.”
The three-time winner on the Asian Tour hit 16 greens in regulation and got the putter hot as putts that were burning the edges in the last two days starting to find the middle of the cups in his third round.
“KLGCC is always tricky. The greens can be very deceptive. The greens are slightly slower this year and the grass is slightly longer than usual. The speeds have changed and the lines have changed. You need a bit of adjustments and it’s quite tricky. I’ve been working on some things with my coach and I’ve stuck to it,” said Lahiri.
“I’m happy with how I’m hitting it. Hit 16 greens today and 15 yesterday. Hopefully my ball striking stays that way and it’ll come down to putting. Hopefully I can make a few more tomorrow.”
Countryman Rahil Gangjee shot a 70 for tied 23rd position on 212 alongside S.S.P. Chowrasia who battled to a 71. Shiv Kapur is a further two shots back in equal 35th place after a 69.