Icheon: Jyoti Randhawa led the challenge as only three of the nine Indians, who started the week, survived the cut in the Ballantine's Championship here on Saturday.
As the second round ended in the morning, most of the Indians fell by the wayside and Randhawa, SSP Chowrasia and Shiv Kapur were the only ones to make the last two rounds.
Randhawa added a third round 72, after 72 and 69 in the first two rounds, to reach three-under 213 and was tied 15th, while Chowrasia (71-70-73) was at two-under 214 in tied 25th and Shiv Kapur (71-71-74) was even par 216 and tied 44th.
The Indians missing the cut included Jeev Milkha Singh (73-73), Gaganjeet Bhullar (72-75), C Muniyappa (73-74), Anirban Lahiri (74-75), Himmat Rai (77-73), Digvijay Singh (79-74).
At the top, Sweden's Alexander Noren overcame tough conditions to take the third round lead with a deserving three-under-par 69. Noren battled the winds that swept through the Blackstone Golf Club all day to post a three-day total of nine-under-par 207 for a one-shot lead over Spain's Pablo Larrazabal (68) and Scotland's Peter Whiteford (69) who were tied for second place after they returned with 68 and 69 respectively.
Louis Oosthuizen (69-71-71) and second round co-leader Wade Ormsby (70-67-74) were tied at eighth. Randhawa said, "It was really windy today. I knew I had to work hard to keep the play going. Some of the greens very hard and not holding, so one has to be careful."
Talking of his second round he said, "I am lucky to be here, as I played the second round well and came through. For the final round on Sunday, it will down to the weather and how the players work their and adjust in the final round."
The 2010 Ballantine's Championship winner Marcus Fraser of Australia signed for a 69 to take a share of fourth place with countryman Brett Rumford on 209 total while Thailand's Arnond Vongvanij (75) and Kiradech Aphibarnrat (75), who held the second round lead, will have to make up grounds after they slipped to a share of 10th and 15th place respectively.
Noren, who trailed the second round leaders by one, made his move with a birdie on the fourth hole. The Swede dropped a shot on the par-four ninth but quickly asserted himself by storming home with a flawless inward-nine that was highlighted by birdies on holes 12, 14 and 18.
"It was a nice way to finish as it was a long and tough day. I also held my short game together very nicely," said Noren.
"I didn't have that many chances but I took care of them when I got chances for birdies and made the important pars when I needed. So it was a big fight out there today," added the Swede.
While conditions were tough on a day where only 17 players broke par, Larrazabal is taking it in his stride and believes he can rise to the occasion on the final day, where it matters most.
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