Lars van Miejel will take a two shot lead into the final round of The Challenge presented by KGA at Karnataka Golf Association after producing a bogey-free five under par round of 67 on day three.
The Dutchman birdied three of the opening four holes to get off to the perfect start on moving day in Bangalore, with two more birdies either side of the turn helping him reach 17 under par after 54 holes.
He will have to hold off the challenge of England’s Alex Fitzpatrick and Joel Girrbach from Switzerland on the final day with both men two back on 15 under.
A win for van Meijel would be his second on the European Challenge Tour, having won for the first time at the 2019 Hopps Open de Provence, and admits the fast start helped him in tricky conditions.
“It was windier than some of the other days,” he said. “It was in a slightly different direction as well so I had to adjust a little bit, but I started well and just tried to keep on hitting good shots. I played nicely.
“You just need to commit to your shots out here. I was just trying to hit the right shots, play smart, make some putts and go from there.”
The 29-year-old is pleased to be at the top of the leaderboard, but knows he will need to be at his best on the final day to win.
“It would mean a lot to win. I haven’t been in contention a lot lately, so it just means a lot to be out there again, feeling the pressure. I’m just going to go out there, enjoy it and try to shoot a low one again.
“I’ve put a lot of effort in with my putting lately and it’s showing. I’ve been putting nicely the last couple of days so I’m happy with that. It all makes a difference. The level is so high. You need to be on top of your game to win.”
Fourth place is shared by Frenchman Frederic Lacroix and Germany’s Michael Hirmer on 14 under, while Kartik Sharma leads the local challenge one shot further back on 13 under par, alongside Road to Mallorca Number Five Ugo Coussaud, from France.
The final round begins at 7.40am local time with the lead group of van Meijel, Fitzpatrick and Girrbach out at 9.20am.