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Joshi and Henson chase leaders at Maybank Championship

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India’s Khalin Joshi and Berry Henson of the United States took advantage of opening eagles to stay in the title hunt after the third round of the Maybank Championship on Saturday.

The 26-year-old Joshi and Henson, who also eagled the last hole, fired matching seven-under-par 65s to trail co-leaders Jorge Campillo of Spain and world number 47 Dylan Frittelli of South Africa by a shot, at the Saujana Golf and Country Club.

Campillo and Frittelli both returned on 66s to set the pace on 15-under-par 201 in a crowded leaderboard at the US$3 million event sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour.

The 52-year-old Prayad Marksaeng turned back the clock after posting a bogey-free 67 while Japanese heartthrob Ryo Ishikawa fired a sparkling 63 to share fifth place. Co-overnight leaders Phachara Khongwatmai (70) and Nino Bertasio (70), Hideto Tanihara (68) and Marc Warren (69) were also tied for fifth.

Joshi was delighted to be in the hunt for a first Asian Tour victory in his debut appearance at the Maybank Championship. The amiable Indian chipped in from 20 yards for an opening eagle and returned with five birdies to stay in the title hunt.

The 38-year-old Henson continued his fine form after finishing eighth and fourth in Singapore and Myanmar respectively in the last two weeks. He has enjoyed an amazing run so far after returning from a wrist injury where he was side-lined for 18 months.

Frittelli, who won the Mauritius Open in December where he defeated Arjun Atwal in a play-off, continued his hot form. He also finished tied 19th and tied sixth place in Abu Dhabi and Dubai before the Maybank Championship to break into the top-50 in the world.

Campillo of Spain eagled the first hole from 35 feet before marking his card with four birdies to head into the final 18 holes with a fighting chance to win his career’s first victory.

Scores after round 3:

201 - Jorge CAMPILLO (ESP) 69-66-66, Dylan FRITTELLI (RSA) 69-66-66.

202 - Berry HENSON (USA) 69-68-65, Khalin JOSHI (IND) 67-70-65.

203 - Prayad MARKSAENG (THA) 71-65-67, Ryo ISHIKAWA (JPN) 74-66-63, Hideto TANIHARA (JPN) 71-64-68, Marc WARREN (SCO) 68-66-69, Nino BERTASIO (ITA) 68-65-70, Phachara KHONGWATMAI (THA) 68-65-70.

204 - Yusaku MIYAZATO (JPN) 71-67-66, Shiv KAPUR (IND) 70-67-67, Mike LORENZO-VERA (FRA) 66-71-67, Paul PETERSON (USA) 69-70-65, Benjamin HEBERT (FRA) 69-70-65, Pablo LARRAZABAL (ESP) 70-70-64, Ryan FOX (NZL) 68-68-68, Lee WESTWOOD (ENG) 72-62-70.

205 - Shubhankar SHARMA (IND) 70-69-66, Gaganjeet BHULLAR (IND) 68-71-66, Thongchai JAIDEE (THA) 69-67-69, Thomas BJORN (DEN) 68-68-69, Thomas DETRY (BEL) 68-68-69, Romain WATTEL (FRA) 67-73-65, Yuta IKEDA (JPN) 70-64-71.

206 - Arjun ATWAL (IND) 67-71-68, Andrew JOHNSTON (ENG) 67-71-68, Scott JAMIESON (SCO) 68-69-69, Gavin GREEN (MAS) 68-69-69, Joost LUITEN (NED) 72-68-66, Maximilian KIEFFER (GER) 69-66-71, David LIPSKY (USA) 67-68-71, Chris PAISLEY (ENG) 65-69-72.