Rahul Ganapathy carded a three-under 69 for a total of four-under 212 to emerge sole leader at the end of the third round in the Hindu Open Golf 2003 in Chennai on Friday.
Just a stroke away from the leader are four others: Feroz Ali, Sanjay Kumar, C Muniyappa and Vijay Kumar.
Ganapathy, who began the day at 1-under par 143, played with renewed confidence as he made a birdie on the second. Thanks to his driving and putting, he did not have much difficulty on the greens. However, hitting it in the left-bunker on the par-3 fourth, he failed to chip out and had to settle for a bogey.
He then made consecutive birdies on the sixth and seventh to be in focus again. Hitting it short of the par-3 eighth, he missed a four-feet par putt to be one-under after nine.
Parring his way, the 24-year-old sunk a 14-footer for a birdie on the 14th and birdied the 16th to be three-under for the day.
Vijay Kumar played a superb round, keeping his card free of bogeys. The stocky golfer from Lucknow began with a birdie and sank two more on the sixth and 16th to finish the day with three-under 69.
Zal Kipgen submitted the best card of the day with a score of four-under par 68. Firing six birdies, the 24-year-old pro from Delhi made two bogeys, failing to hole from four-feet on both occasions.
In the amateur section, L Selvadurai displaced overnight leader Gurunath Meiyappan. The ONGC-sponsored golfer, with a total of 230, led Gurunath by a single stoke.