Overnight leader Honey Baisoya shot a five-under 67 third round to stay ahead of the field at the Bengaluru Open golf championship, at KGA here on Friday.

Baisoya (18-under overall) holds a two-shot advantage over nearest rival, Udayan Mane. With five birdies and the lone bogey by the end of the eighth hole, Baisoya had raced ahead of the pack. At this stage, Udayan trailed the leader by seven shots. He then began his charge, making six birdies in the final 10 holes.

Baisoya, his playing partner, managed just the single birdie on the back-nine. On a couple of occasions, Baisoya managed to salvage pars from dicey spots. On the 10th hole, his drive landed in the water, and it took a 25-feet putt to save the day. On the very next hole, his approach shot ricocheted off an advertising hoarding and into the green-side bunker.

Read: Honey Baisoya takes sole lead

“I was very lucky. If not for the hoarding, the ball would have gone out of bounds,” Baisoya said.

‘Close finish’

Udayan, relieved after being handed a lifeline, said, “I started slowly, making pars on the first eight holes. I’m happy that I was able to make a comeback to stay in contention. It helped that Baisoya cooled off after his superb start.”

Udayan stated that an interesting final round is on the cards. “Both Baisoya and I are on top of our game. It will be a close finish,” he said.

Harendra Gupta, tied-fourth overnight, carded a five-under 67 to move up one spot. The 33-year-old Chandigarh pro is six shots off the pace. M. Dharma, Himmat Rai and Shamim Khan (all 10-under overall) lie tied-fourth.