La Quinta (California): Leading Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri dropped 16 positions to be tied 19th after carding one-under 71 in the third and penultimate round of the $5,800,000 CareerBuilder Challenge here.
Lahiri, who was third after scores of 64 and 68 in the first rounds, on Saturday overcame a tough front-nine performance. After enduring a bogey on the fifth hole and a double bogey on the par-four seventh, the World No.41 pulled things back with two consecutive birdies on the eighth and ninth.
The 28-year-old added two more birdies on the 12th and 14th that gave him a 71 for the day. The Bengaluru golfer took his total to 13-under 203 after 54 holes of the Professional Golfers Association (PGA) Tour tournament in partnership with the Clinton Foundation.
However, he is completely ruled out of the title challenge having fallen 10 strokes behind leader Jason Dufner of the United States. Dufner fired 64 to take a two-strokem lead over his compatriot Jamie Lovemark, who has three 65s.
The 38-year-old Dufner, who is on lead from the first round, put up a dominating front-nine show as he sank seven birdies. In the back-nine, the World No.120 picked two birdies against two bogeys for a 64.
Dufner’s 54-hole total is the lowest of his career by two shots. He set his previous mark at the 2009 CareerBuilder Challenge and 2012 Colonial National Invitational.
Dufner is seeking his first victory since the 2013 PGA Championship. He teamed with Brandt Snedeker to win the unofficial Franklin Templeton Shootout last month, and finished in the top 10 in his two starts prior to CareerBuilder.
“I’m playing good, I’m not having any trouble, I feel relaxed out there,” Dufner told pgatour.com.
Adam Hadwin was three strokes off the pace as the Canadian scored 64. Two spots behind Hadwin was Sweden’s David Lingmerth, who added 62 — day’s joint best score — to his back-to-back 68s. The highlight of Lingmerth’s performance was five consecutive birdies from the 14th hole. Kevin Na of the US also got 62 — marked by six birdies and an eagle in the front-nine. Kevin took his total to 17-under 199.