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Liang hangs on to lead at Indian Open golf

October 11, 2008 18:06 IST

China's Liang Wen-chong held on to a one stroke lead after firing his second straight 71 in the third round at the Hero Honda Indian Open on Saturday.

Liang who was last year's Asian Tour's Order of Merit winner, produced a 14-under-par 202 total for a narrow advantage over Australia's Adam Blyth who nailed a 66 at the Delhi Golf Club.

Australia's Unho Park was pleased with his 66 in lone third place while Singapore's Lam Chih Bing posted a 67 to grab fourth spot in the US$1 million Asian Tour event.

New Zealand's Mark Brown, who is the current Asian Tour's Order of Merit leader, was in the mix in a tie for fifth place after a 69 alongside India's Jeev Milkha Singh, who posted a 68.

After a five stroke lead in the firs two rounds, Liang held his game today firing four birdies against a bogey and a double bogey.

"I feel good about my game but this is the first time I've been in this position leading for so long, so it's something new to me.

"The holes here are tough and it's always a challenge. I wasn't playing safe but at the same time I can't really be aggressive here. Adam played well but there are still 18 holes left tomorrow so we shall see what happens," said Liang.

In-form Blyth, with his father Steve on the bag, this week, closed in on Liang after a solid 66 today.

"It's nice to see my putts drop today. But I'm surprised with where I am at the moment. After the first two rounds, I thought Liang was going to run away with it but now I see I have a chance. I played well and kept it in play which was the key for me.

"I've been enjoying a good year and I've learned a lot from my experience at the British Open. I hope for solid putting when I head out on my final charge on Sunday," said the Brisbane-based Blyth.

Australia's Park found his footing at the Delhi Golf Club when he fired six birdies and was two strokes off the pace.

"Driving is not the key here which is good because I've been struggling with my long game. This is a breath of fresh air for me as I have been enduring a slow season so far," admitted Park.

Lam, who recorded a top-10 finish at the Pertamina Indonesia President Invitational in August, enjoyed a bogey free round that included an eagle at the par five eighth hole.

"The course is playing good. I am happy to be bogey free today. I have to stay conservative out here. My putting has been steady which helped me produce a good score.

"I'm excited with where I am at the moment and hopefully I can continue my momentum when I head out tomorrow," said Lam, who competed in his second straight British Open in July this year.

Sweden's Daniel Chopra slipped to a tie for 18th spot after a 74 while defending champion Jyoti Randhawa carded a 73 and was in joint 55th position.

Leading third round scores

202 - Liang Wen-chong (CHN) 60-71-71

203 - Adam Blyth (AUS) 70-67-66

204 - Unho Park (AUS) 67-71-66

206 - Lam Chih Bing (SIN) 69-70-67

207 - Jeev Milkha Singh (IND) 65-74-68, Steven Tiley (ENG) 72-66-69, Mark Brown (NZL) 71-67-69, Ashok Kumar (IND) 70-67-70

208 - Darren Beck (AUS) 70-70-68, Chinnarat Phadungsil (THA) 72-66-70, Guido Van Der Valk (NED) 77-61-70, Mars Pucay (PHI) 71-67-70, Lu Wen-teh (TPE) 66-71-71

209 - Chapchai Nirat (THA) 72-71-66, Mukesh Kumar (IND) 68-73-68, Artemio Murakami (PHI) 74-67-68, Gaurav Ghei (IND) 69-69-71

210 - Vinod Kumar (IND) 72-69-69, Himmat Rai (IND) 70-71-69, Chris Rodgers (ENG) 72-66-72, Muhammad Munir (PAK) 69-69-72, Daniel Chopra (SWE) 66-70-74.