Those players will not impact the top of the leader-board, however, with Scotland’s Stephen Gallagher and American Julian Suri recording rounds of 67 to be ahead by one over a group at 4 under.
Christian Bezuidenhout, Pablo Larrazabal, Robert Karlsson and Prom Messawat are tied for 3rd while Australian Scott Hend is in a large group one shot further back.
Hend, who arrived in New Delhi as the winner of last week’s Maybank Championship, has a poor record over this layout having missed the cut in each of his last two starts at the venue but playing with the confidence a win can bring and injury free he produced a very impressive round.
Hend was rolling along nicely early in his round with two birdies but a bogey at his 8th hole was followed by a triple bogey at his 9th and he made the turn in 2 over.
He regained his composure quickly, however, with five birdies on the way in for a closing nine of 31 and a round of 69.
“After the 17th and 18th hole we thought we would be flying tomorrow night,” said Hend.
“I three-putted the 17th and hit two balls into the water hazard on hole 18 which was a bit of a nightmare. To come back after that was great, and I think so far this year this was the best round that I have played.
“I just told myself to get over those holes and concentrate on what I was doing. It’s just one of those golf courses where if you hit a bad shot, you start getting defensive.
“And I just had to remind myself to not be defensive and keep playing how I have been playing. That’s the hardest part about it, you have to be strong mentally.”
Wade Ormsby and Daniel Nisbet are the next best of the Australians at 2 under 70 while Marcus Fraser was round in 71.
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