Ajeetesh Sandhu stayed on course for a Top-10 finish at the Panasonic Open Japan with an even par 71 in the third round but overnight leader and defending champion Rahil Gangjee slipped after carding a five-over 76 here on Saturday.

Sandhu, lying Tied-sixth after two rounds, is now seven-under 206 and Tied-ninth, while Gangjee slumped to Tied-32 from sole lead with a total of four-under 209.

Viraj Madappa, the third Indian to make the cut this week, added one-under 70 to get to one-under 212 and Tied-56th.

Sandhu had one bogey and one birdie on front nine, while birdies on 11th and 14th brought him to two-under before he stumbled upon back-to-back bogeys on 16th and 17th. He also missed three of the four fairways at the finish and lost his gains.

Gangjee never got going and had just one birdie and missed a lot of greens in regulation and paid the price with four bogeys and a double bogey.

Japan’s Toshinori Muto scrambled well and putted even better to shoot a flawless seven-under 64 to get to 14-under and take a one-shot lead over fellow Japanese Shugo Imahira (66) at 13-under.

Jazz Janewattananond (66) and Miguel Carballo (66) were tied-third at 12-under and Ryo Ishikawa (68) was fifth at 11-under.