Pablo Larrazabal (Getty Images)
Pablo Larrazábal hopes to demonstrate both mental and physical improvements in his game at the final round of the Avantha Masters after firing a six under par 66 to take the third round clubhouse lead.
The Spaniard, who was named Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year in 2008, reached 11 under par at DLF Golf and Country Club thanks to an eagle at the par five last.
“I have been working very hard on all the aspects of the game that you need these days to succeed - not just the golf but you have to be physically and mentally fit and I have been working hard on all of it,” said the former ALSTOM Open de France winner.
“I have been seeing the results – I finished 11th in Abu Dhabi and that was good for the confidence, but now that I am in this position with a great chance to win going into the final round, tomorrow will be a big test to show me exactly where I am because it will be a tough day with a lot of pressure.
“I hope that the work that I have done over the winter is going to really show up tomorrow.”
Larrazábal fired four birdies in five holes around the turn, before dropping a shot at the 12th for the second round in succession. But he regained the shot at 14th and finished with a flourish as the 27 year old moved into contention.
“It was one of the days where I played nicely," he added. "I really got going with the birdie on the sixth and it was a really good day after that.
“The eagle at the last was the highlight obviously. I hit a nice drive and then got to the ball on the fairway and found it was in an old divot. I had 184 metres to the flag and I thought that I had to hit plenty of club to compensate for the divot. I did that, with a nice faded four iron into about ten feet and made the putt.”
England’s Robert Coles is also 11 under with two holes of his third round remaining - a further 90 minutes was lost to fog on Saturday morning after Thursday’s three-and-a-half hour delay.
The Englishman also enjoyed an eagle when he managed to drive the par four 15th and drain a 25 foot putt.
“This is why you play the game - to get into contention to win tournaments,” said the 38 year old - who will be looking to better his best European Tour finish of tied third at the 2004 Omega European Masters.
“I’ll have all the emotions going tomorrow – nerves, excitement, everything and I just hope that I can give a good account of myself and play well because I have a great chance to win.”
On a congested leaderboard, home hopes are led by S S P Chowrasia and Sujjan Singh on ten under, alongside Argentina’s Rafa Echenique.
“My hitting was really good and I got birdies on three of the four par threes,” said former Indian Masters champion Chowrasia. “That has really given me a lot of confidence. I have been in this position of contending before, so I am not feeling any pressure.”
Jeev Milkha Singh, the leader after 36 holes, is nine under with five to play, along with US Open Championship runner-up Grégory Havret, first round leader Robert-Jan Derksen, Thai pair Chapchai Nirat and Thaworn Wiratchant and Filipino Angelo Que.
Eight groups were unable to complete their third rounds, and they will resume at 08:00 local time. There will be no redraw for the fourth round, which will start at 08:25.