Liang holds his nerve to retain narrow lead

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 12 October, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 12 October, 2008, 12:00am

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

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 carded an impressive 66 in 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 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 first two rounds, Liang held his game, 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 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 hope for solid putting when I head out on my final charge,' said 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,' he admitted.

Lamb 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 was in joint 55th position.