Like it was in round two, the focus, on Saturday, was once again on Shubhankar, who will surely be backed by a vociferous home crowd when he would go on the final day in search of his third win of the current season.
Wallace chipped in from off the 10th green but Johnston stayed in touch with a five-foot gain at the 13th, while Gallacher's challenge slipped away with four bogeys in a six-hole stretch on the back nine.
Wallace said he approached the final day like an opening round and was aggressive as he knew he was not going to be favourite with local fans supporting co-leader Shubhankar. The first two days were surprisingly calm.
"I kept telling my caddie that we can't overpower this course today so we have to just hang in there", said the 21-year-old Indian later. It was a mixed bag as everything happened. "He has got the game, he has got the head and I think he is going to go a long way".
"I'm hitting the ball well and I hit the ball well the last two days, " McCarron said. "I am looking forward to tomorrow", he added. I hit an unbelievable shot out of there and holed the putt.
"I was trying to come back but I made another bad swing on the seventh". The Indian found the bunker at the 10th and 13th holes. It was always going to be a hard day and he did give away a lot of shots, with two double bogeys and a bogey in a three-hole stretch from 13th to 15th in his 6-over 78. Like Shubhankar, the Englishman, too, was troubled by the tough course and a hard 17th hole.
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But both batsmen fell in quick succession and that helped Australia get an edge over South Africa on the day. De Villiers finished on 126 not out in a knock which lasted 146 balls and featured 20 fours and one sixes.
"That eagle on nine was probably the highlight of my week - and year - so far".
I feel awesome. It was a hard week and a hard golf course.
"I hit some really good shots and that play-off".
"I mean, we all played it differently and managed to find ourselves in the same position".
In the play-off, after Johnston had laid up short of the lake, Wallace played a bold shot to the back of the green, which rolled 15 feet from the flag.
It was supposed to be the validation of Shubhankar Sharma as the pre-eminent current Indian golfer.
Matt Wallace poses with the trophy after winning the Indian Open on Sunday. If he wins, it would be the fourth time in a row that an Indian would have won the Indian Open following the success of Anirban Lahiri in 2015 and SSP Chawrasia in 2016 and 2017. He is in tied-seven and just three shots behind the leaders along with Spain's Pablo Larrazabal.