Bland joins 7-way tie atop Avantha

Updated: February 13, 2010, 9:18 AM ET
Associated Press

GURGAON, India -- England's Richard Bland and Sweden's Fredrik Andersson Hed both shot 66s in the third round to join a seven-way tie at 11-under 205 atop the leaderboard at the Avantha Masters on Saturday.

The 37-year-old Bland started the round six shots back and made two birdies in his opening three holes. After failing to pick up more ground on the front nine, he made up four shots over his closing seven holes.

"I have to say that it felt a bit strange that 66, because there were points when I felt that I wasn't playing too well," Bland said.

"It felt like my playing partners played better than I did but I was the one that made the score. They are probably at home cursing me at the moment but you have to take the luck when it comes your way," he said.

Andersson Hed joined him at 11 under after a round that included eight birdies against just two bogeys.

Bland's 49-year-old compatriot Barry Lane maintained his bid to become the oldest winner of a European Tour event after he shot a 71, although he missed the chance to take the outright lead with a frustrating bogey on his last hole.

Second-round leader Chan Yin-shin of Taiwan fought back from a mixed round with birdies at the 12th and 15th as he finished with a 72 and India's Rahil Gangjee had a 69.

Tetsuji Hiratsuka, who set a course record with a 62 in the second round, also missed the chance to take the outright lead after a bogey at the 18th left him with a 70. Darren Beck of Australia, also had a 70 after picking up four early birdies.

Andrew Dodt and David Drysdale were one stroke off the lead after each had a 71. Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland was in a group another shot back after a 70.


Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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