Defending champ Chawrasia among three tied for lead at Hero Indian Open

Paul Lakatos/Asian Tour

Defending champ Chawrasia among three tied for lead at Hero Indian Open

Euro Tour

Defending champ Chawrasia among three tied for lead at Hero Indian Open

S.S.P. Chawrasia, Eddie Pepperell and Carlos Pigem share the lead heading into the final day of the $1.75 million Hero Indian Open. The three are tied at 6 under, but still have to complete their third rounds over the DLF Golf & Country Club in New Delhi.

Lightning played havoc with the first two days and the trio still has seven holes of their third rounds to play.

Chawrasia is gunning to defend the title he won last year. He is bidding to make history by becoming the first player to win his first four European Tour events on home soil. Chawrasia is a good bet. Aside from winning last year at Delhi Golf Club, the 38-year-old has four runner-up finishes in his national championship. He also won the 2011 Avantha Masters at DLF G&CC. He won the 2008 EMAAR-MGF Indian Masters in his homeland.

“I stuck to the same game plan that I have had for the first two rounds,” Chawrasia said. “I just want to hit straight, keep the ball in play and keep giving myself chances all the time.

“The key is not to give away loose shots. Birdies are so difficult to find on this course and they require a lot of hard work, so to give away a bogey is painful.”

Pepperell is looking to win to earn his playing rights for 2018. The Englishman lost his European Tour card last year and had to return to the Qualifying School to ensure employment this season. His form this week is surprising considered he’s missed the first four cuts of the 2016-17 season.

“I guess I can take confidence from what I’ve done today,” Pepperell said. “I managed to keep my form pretty good all day. I’ll try to do that again tomorrow.

“The greens are firm and the pin positions are tricky. The greens are like something you would find at Disneyland. It’s difficult. The fairways are tight, there’s no let up. You need to hit good shot after good shot.

“I’ve just got to keep doing what I’m doing. I’ve got a game plan.”

Pigem has no status on the European Tour, and is playing full-time on the Asian Tour. The Barcelona resident won last year’s Yeangder Tournament Players Championship in Taipei. He’s currently fourth on the Asian Tour money list.

England’s David Horsey is two shots behind at 4 under, while 2010 U.S. amateur champion Peter Uihlein and former Oregon State player Paul Peterson are tied for ninth at 1 under.

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