Kolkata, Feb 10 (PTI) Bangalore''s Anirban Lahiri threwhis hat in the ring at the Aircel PGTI Players Championshipafter he shot a second straight score of five under 65 inround three here today.
Lahiri emerged as the top contender for the title as hemoved three shots clear of the rest of the field with a totalscore of 12 under 198 at the Tollygunge Club.
The Delhi Golf Club duo of Vinod Kumar and Rashid Khanshare second place at nine under 201 while local boy RahilGangjee and pre-tournament favourite Jyoti Randhawa are afurther stroke behind in tied fourth.
Lahiri, who was five strokes off the pace in tied thirdposition after round two, played a remarkable round of 65 tosnatch the lead on day three. The 23-year-old knocked downfour birdies on the front nine and added two more on the 15thand 16th before dropping his only bogey of the day on the17th.
Lahiri performed exceptionally with the putter as he sanka 25 feet putt for birdie on the first and followed that upwith an enormous 35 feet putt for birdie on the fourth.
"My swing is good and I''m putting well at this stage.
I''ll have to play aggressively in the final round since athree-stroke lead is not quite enough on this course. All theplayers in the top eight at the moment have the ability toshoot a very low number in the final round therefore I''ll haveto take my chances on Friday," said Lahiri, winner of fiveprofessional titles and the 2009 Rolex Rankings champion.
Vinod Kumar shot a third consecutive 67 to climb fromovernight tied sixth to tied second position. His solid 67 inround three included six birdies and three bogeys.
Rashid Khan, the overnight leader, fired a three over 73to join Vinod in tied second place at nine under 201. Rashid''sthird round featured four birdies, five bogeys and a doublebogey.
Local lad Rahil Gangjee slipped from overnight tiedsecond to tied fourth as a result of posting a 71 today.
Indian ace Jyoti Randhawa joined Gangjee in tied fourth ateight under 202 after he submitted a card of 69 in thepenultimate round.
Shamim Khan (seven under 203), Mukesh Kumar (six under204) and Gaganjeet Bhullar (five under 205) are placed sixth,seventh and eighth respectively.
Local lad SSP Chowrasia lies tied 32nd at five over 215.