Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri was tied ninth after scoring a three-under 69, while Shubhankar Sharma dropped six places to be 11th after posting a 71 after the third round of the Maybank Championship here on Saturday.
Lahiri carded five birdies against two bogeys for a 69 that took his 54-hole total to 10-under 206 — same as Paraguayan Fabrizio Zanotti, who came up with a brilliant 67 at the Saujana Golf and Country Club.
“I am quite disappointed honestly. I played really well to start the round but just never got my putter going. I missed a bunch of putts on the front nine inside of five feet and that really killed the momentum,” Lahiri said in an Asian Tour release.
“Then it got really windy from the middle part of the round till the end and it was important to get a really good start and I couldn’t take advantage of that,” the 2015 Asian Tour champion added.
“(However) It was still a good grind. I fought hard and came home stronger than what I have done in the past, so that’s a positive step.”
Lahiri’s compatriot, Shubhankar, who was third fifth on Friday with back-to-back 68, saved his round for a 71 as he overcame three bogeys in the front-nine.
In the back-nine, the youngster got three birdies against a bogey to salvage an under-par round. Nevertheless, he dropped six places to be 11th with a tally of 207.
One shot behind Shubhankar was Gaganjeet Bhullar, who carded 70 that took his total to 208.
Shiv Kapur, who struggled for an even-par 72 that took his tally to 209, dropped ninth spot to be tied 16th, while Rashid Khan was joint 23rd on 210 total following a 70 in the penultimate round.
Chiragh Kumar got a share of the 44th spot following a 71 that took his tally to three-under 213, while Jyoti Randhawa lied at the 68th position after scoring three-over 75. The veteran has a three-day total of one-over 217.
Meanwhile, reigning Masters Tournament champion Danny Willett streaked into a three-shot third-round lead after shooting a 67 that drove his total to 16-under 200.
The 29-year-old Englishman, who trailed by one stroke overnight, sank six birdies, including at the final two holes, to lead from 2015 Asian Tour Order of Merit champion David Lipsky of the United States, who returned a 68.
Willett said: “I would have taken a 67 at the start of the day. It spreads the top five and top six guys out a bit more and further away, and I’m probably going to go hit a few and make a few little minor tweaks here and there and try to get the driver to where it’s been most of the week.”
Frenchman Alexander Levy fired a 67 on another sun-kissed day at the $3 million tournament co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour for third place, four back of Willett.
Thailand’s Panuphol Pittayarat (66) and K.T. Kim of Korea (69) were amongst those bunched in equal fourth position, five strokes back.