Eagle lifts Larrazabal

2011-02-19 19:47

New Delhi - Spain's Pablo Larrazabal struck a magical eagle three on his closing hole to take the clubhouse lead at the Avantha Masters before play was suspended due to darkness on Saturday.

The Spaniard struck 66 for a three-day total of 11-under-par 205 in the $2.4 million event, co-sanctioned by the Asian and European tours, one clear of SSP Chowrasia of India and Argentina's Rafa Echenique, with matching 67s.

India's Sujjan Singh also shared second place after a 68.

The Philippines' Angelo Que posted a 68 to join a group on 207 alongside Thailand's Chapchai Nirat, France's Gregory Havret and Robert-Jan Derksen of the Netherlands at the DLF Golf and Country Club.

England's Robert Coles was 11 under through 16 holes when play was halted, with home favourite Jeev Milkha Singh nine-under-par through 13 holes. Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee is seven-under-par through 13 holes.

A further 90 minutes was lost to fog on Saturday morning after Thursday's three-and-a-half hour delay.

A total of 24 players have yet to complete their third rounds and will resume on Sunday.

Starting his round tied for 15th, Larrazabal birdied his sixth, eighth and ninth holes to reach the turn in 33. He added another birdie on the par-four 10th before committing his only blemish on the 12th hole.

The Spaniard then birdied the 14th before his eagle on the last.

"It was one of the days where I played nicely," he said. "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 (yards) 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."

Coles was also boosted by an eagle, driving the par-four 15th and draining a 25-foot putt.

"This is why you play the game -- to get into contention to win tournaments," said the 38-year-old, looking to better his best European Tour finish of tied third at the 2004 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."

A clutch of birdies on the back nine propelled Chowrasia into contention.

"I'm really feeling good about my game at the moment. It was solid from tee to green and I did not make many mistakes today," he said.


205 - Pablo Larrazabal (ESP) 69-70-66

206 - Rafa Echenique (ARG) 69-70-67, S S P Chowrasia (IND) 70-69-67, Sujjan Singh (IND) 69-69-68

207 - Gregory Havret (FRA) 72-67-68, Robert-Jan Derksen (NED) 66-73-68, Chapchai Nirat (THA) 68-71-68, Angelo Que (PHI) 71-68-68

208 - Prayad Marksaeng (THA) 72-69-67

209 - Chinnarat Phadungsil (THA) 70-68-71, Floris De Vries (NED) 72-67-70

210 - Bernd Weisberger (AUT) 68-72-70, Joost Luiten (NED) 68-71-71

211 - Fabrizio Zanotti (PAR) 68-74-69, Shamim Khan (IND) 74-67-70, Marc Warren (SCO) 69-70-72, Mark Foster (ENG) 67-77-67