Penang, May 26: A near-flawless round saw M.Sasidaran (pic) nick the lead at the conclusion of a tightly-contested round three of the RM125,000 Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Penang Classic today.
Sasidaran registered a round of five-under-par 67 for a 54-hole score of 205 to take a narrow one-shot lead over the duo of Anis Helmi Hassan and Shaaban Hussin into the final round of the tournament tomorrow at the Penang Golf Resort near Kepala Batas.
Anis continued his rich vein of form with another sub-par round of 69 to stay within touch of his maiden professional victory alongside PGM Terengganu Classic winner Shaaban Hussin, who matched the former with his second-straight 69 of the tournament. Seasoned campaigner R.Nachimuthu climbed up the leaderboard after a superb six-under-par 66 to tie overnight leader Md Rashid Ismail (71) on nine-under-par 207.
Sasidaran drained three birdies on either nines but dropped a bogey on the par-three 12 to -put himself in a good position for his first title in 2011. “I was delighted with My ironplay today and if I can keep a calm head tomorrow and get the job done, I will be very pleased with my week,” said the 34-year-old Serendah-based pro, who currently lies sixth of the PGM Tour Order of Merit on RM31,166.66.
It’s been a long and arduous journey for Anis (right) since he joined the paid ranks in 2008 but the 26-year-old former international is raring to give it his best shot tomorrow. “I have struggled since early this year to shoot all four rounds below par but this week, I’m highly-charged with the prospect of doing just that. My confidence is at all time high and another good display tomorrow may just land me the title,” he shared.
A late comeback saw Shaaban keep himself in contention, draining three consecutive birdies from the 14th after a quiet start to return a 69. Three players – Kemarol Baharin, S. Sivachandhran and surprise package Chan Soo Keong are further back on six-under-par 210.
Leading third round scores
205 M. Sasidaran 69-69-67
206 Anis Helmi Hassan 72-65-69; Shaaban Hussin 68-69-69
207 R. Nachimuthu 72-69-66; Md Rashid Ismail 72-64-71
210 Kemarol Baharin 65-74-71; S. Sivachandhran 71-67-72; Chan Soo Keong 69-68-73
211 Khor Kheng Hwai 70-72-69; Danny Chia 70-72-69
212 Airil Rizman 71-73-68; Nicholas Pua 72-71-69