Ramsay stays in front at Hero Indian Open
20 Oct 2012 - 17:17:26
Richie Ramsay of Scotland held on to his lead despite struggling with a cold putter in the third round of the Hero Indian Open on Saturday.
Ramsay, who has held on to the lead since day one, posted a one-under-par 70 for 11-under-par 202 to hold a narrow one-shot lead over Asian Tour Qualifying School graduate Jaakko Makitalo of Finland.
Makitalo, playing one flight in front of Ramsay, charged into contention for a first Asian Tour win as he returned with a 68 at the $1.25 million event.
Thailand's Thaworn Wiratchant (67), winner of the 2005 Hero Indian Open and 19-year-old Panuphol Pittayarat (69) were a further shot back, along with James Morrison (67) of England at the Karnataka Golf Association course.
Ramsay, who is playing on a sponsor's invitation, knows it will be a close race to the finishing line.
"I found it tough to play with the wind blowing all over the place. I needed to make some putts, which I didn't. It was a case of being close but not close enough today," said Ramsay, a two-time winner in Europe.
"It is surprising to be leading in a tournament with the way I putted. If I can putt better, then I think there's a better score out there," he added.
Makitalo eagled the par five 11th hole for the second successive day after hitting his hybrid to four feet from the hole. He could have shared the lead if not for a bogey on the last.
"There's definitely going to be nerves. I was nervous today but I'm going to play like how I've been playing and avoid looking at scoreboards," said Makitalo.
Panuphol's patience was rewarded with four birdies against two bogeys, as he admitted that his performance this week has surpassed his expectations.
"My goal was to finish top 20 this week, but I'm close to winning now. I don't feel any stress or nerves," said Panuphol, who is hunting for a first Asian Tour win.
Top scores after day three:
202 - Richie Ramsay (SCO) 66-66-70
203 - Jaakko Makitalo (FIN) 67-68-68
204 - James Morrison (ENG) 66-71-67, Thaworn Wiratchant (THA) 69-68-67, Panuphol Pittayarat (THA) 67-68-69
205 - Arnond Vongvanij (THA) 71-67-67, Angelo Que (PHI) 68-68-69, Chapchai Nirat (THA) 67-68-70
206 - Shiv Kapur (IND) 67-71-68