Lahiri and Muniyappa share lead after Round 3 in Toyota Altis Open

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Bangalore, Nov 7 (UNI) Anirban Lahiri and C Muniyappa shared the lead, heading into the final round of the Professional Golf Tour of India's (PGTI) Toyota Altis Open at Eagleton Golf course near here.

Lahiri and Muniyappa had an identical total of 13 under 203 after three rounds. While Lahiri turned in a four under 68 today, Muniyappa joined him at the top after firing a two under 70.

The chasing pack consists of 15-year-old local amateur S Chikkarangappa, Kunal Bhasin and veteran Mukesh Kumar. The trio were tied for third place at 11 under 205.

Anirban Lahiri (65, 70, 68) ended round three as the joint leader after returning a four under 68. Lahiri had an ideal start to his third round as he birdied the first hole after landing his approach shot from the fairway bunker just six inches short of the pin.

The Bangalore-based golfer followed up this effort with more birdies on the fourth, 11th, 15th and 17th before closing with a bogey on the 18th for the third successive day.

''I've never been in this position before on the PGTI and would like to make the best of it. I'm also very pleased with my driving and approach shots today. However, my putting wasn't up to the mark,'' Lahiri, who is looking to capture his first professional title said.

He said whoever makes the least mistakes can win tomorrow because birdies are there for the taking.

City-based Muniyappa (67, 66, 70), who was also striving for his first professional win, joined Lahiri at the top of the leaderboard with a two under 70 today. He had a mixed day as he made birdies on the fourth, seventh, 10th, 12th, 16th, 18th and bogeys on the third, sixth, 14th and 17th.

''I had an average day today. I sank some long and difficult putts but also had some trouble with bunker and approach shots. I messed up shots from the middle of the fairway on a few occasions. The aim for tomorrow would be to hit as many fairways as possible,'' said Muniyappa.

Chandigarh's Harmeet Kahlon (71, 64, 72) was sixth at nine under 207 while the Delhi duo of Manav Jaini (72, 67, 69) and Himmat Singh Rai (72, 66, 70) are a further stroke behind in tied seventh.

Veteran Uttam Singh Mundy (71, 71, 70) fired the first hole-in-one of the tournament when his five iron tee shot on the par three 12th hole pitched four feet short of the pin and then trickled in. This was the ninth hole-in-one of Mundy's professional career.

Mundy's round, however, included four birdies and two double bogeys besides his hole-in-one. The professional from Chandigarh is currently tied 13th at four under 212.

Mysore's Rahul Ganapathy (68, 68, 76), who is currently second on the PGTI Order of Merit, joined Mundy in tied 13th place.

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