Defending champ Lahiri 4 back at Indian Open


NEW DELHI - Just like last year, SSP Chawrasia leads the Indian Open after a flawless third-round 68 on Saturday.

The 37-year-old, who won the 2008 Indian Masters over the same tree-lined layout, has a two-shot lead over Terry Pilkadaris (73) of Australia.

Chawrasia went four under for the first eight holes. There were no birdies afterward but Chawrasia scrambled from extremely difficult positions to register 10 straight pars from the ninth to the 18th.

''I want to win it because I have finished second over here four times,'' said Chawrasia, who is 14 under overall.

Chawrasia holed a 10-footer at the first, almost chipped in from the bunker on the third, and then reeled off three birdies from Nos. 6 to 8, including a 20-foot putt on the seventh.

He had to hole difficult par putts on the 10th and 17th, including a chip-in from a grassy hollow after being stuck in thorny bushes on the par-3 12th.

Chawrasia has been here before. In 2015 he led by two over Siddikur Rahman of Bangladesh, before Anirban Lahiri took the title in a playoff against Chawrasia.

Pilkadaris, winless since 2005, is at 12 under, while defending champion Lahiri (67) and Rashid Khan (69) are two shots behind the Australian.

''If I get a fast start and am only three or so behind, I could have a shot,'' said Lahiri.

Rahil Gangjee (66), Jeunghun Wang (66), Sebastien Gros (68) and Adilson Da Silva (69) are at nine under.

The 42-year-old Pilkadaris had birdies on the first and fourth but missed clutch putts for par on Nos. 2 and 3. A wayward drive into trees down the ninth led to another dropped shot.