Jose Manuel Lara (Getty Images)
A red-hot putter helped José Manuel Lara catch Jbe Kruger early in the final round of the Avantha Masters at DLF Golf & Country Club in New Delhi.
The Spaniard holed 15 foot birdie putts at the first and third, before curling in a monster 60 footer at the fifth to reach 12 under par.
That brought the two-time European Tour winner level with 25 year old South African Kruger after the overnight leader birdied the fourth from 12 feet.
They were one ahead of Spain’s Jorge Campillo, who completed a hattrick of birdies with a 30 footer at the eighth, and German Marcel Siem.
Fourth last week in Dubai, the 31 year old struck his approach from the rough to five feet to set up a birdie at the first.
There was disappointment for Scotland’s Peter Whiteford, however. Chasing his maiden European Tour title, the Scot was only one behind overnight, but eagle-eyed viewers alerted chief referee John Paramor to an incident on the 18th fairway during the third round.
Whiteford’s ball moved fractionally after he had addressed it, and having already signed for an incorrect score he was informed of his disqualification upon reaching the fourth tee.
Both of the leading pair birdied the long sixth, and Lara almost holed-in-one at the par three eighth, leaving a tap-in birdie.
It came after his first bogey of the day at the seventh, however, and so both players were tied on 13 under, with Campillo only one behind after a fifth birdie of the day at the tenth.
Kruger holed a birdie putt from 20 feet at the eighth and at 14 under entered the back nine with a one shot lead.
A fourth birdie of the day followed for Kruger at the par three 11th, and with Lara beginning to struggle from the tee the former amateur star moved three clear.
That was because 34 year old Lara scrambled pars at the ninth, tenth and 12th, but caught a flyer on the 13th and his 25 foot par putt finished a fraction short.