Nachimuthu seizes lead at Clearwater

R. Nachimuthu

Batu Gajah: It was literally moving day at Clearwater Sanctuary Resort today as R. Nachimuthu capitalised on overnight leader Haziq Hamizan’s slip to take a one-stroke advantage after round three of the Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Clearwater Classic.

The reigning PGM Order of Merit champion shot a two-under 70 to amass a 54-hole total of eight-under- par 208 to stay ahead of Shaaban Hussin (68) and Kemarol Baharin (70). Haziq suffered a bad day in the office,  dropping five shots after a poor 75 to take a share of fourth alongside Rashid Ismail and Nicholas Fung on five-under 211.

A round of four birdies against two bogeys put Nachimuthu in the right frame of mind ahead of his assault tomorrow for a record third PGM title.  “I am happy with my game although my putting could have been better. I managed to stay out of trouble for most parts and that’s the most important thing. I’ll just play the same game tomorrow, shot by shot and see what happens. You can’t be overtly aggressive on this course.”

Four birdies on the back nine was enough to keep Kemarol with touch of victory while Shaaban was delighted to remain in contention despite struggling with his putting lines all day.

Haziq who began the day at 10-under 134, started well and went up to 11-under after the first hole but found his game going south on the back nine with costly bogeys at the 10th, 14th and two double bogeys at the 16th and 18th. “I was struggling on the back nine, missed too many greens and couldn’t make it up and down, I didn’t hit the ball well today. “At the 18th I hit my tee-shot into the hazard and had to hit again. We’ll see what happens tomorrow.”

Leading third round scores
208 – R. Nachimuthu 71-67-70
209 – Shaaban Hussin 71-70-68; Kemarol Baharin 70-69-70
211 – Md Rashid Ismail 75-66-70; Nicholas Fung 69-70-72; Haziq Hamizan 66-68-77
213 – S. Murthy 67-75-71; Anis Helmi Hassan 69-70-74
214 – Shaifubari Muda 72-74-68; Jeremiah Kim 72-71-71; Wilson Choo 76-66-72
215 – C.M. Chong 71-74-70; M. Rizal Amin 74-70-71
216 – Zurie Harun 73-73-70; Mohd Amli 74-70-72
217 – P. Gunasegaran 75-70-72; Lim Eng Seng 69-76-72
218 – Mohd Hafiy 75-74-69; Danny Chia 70-73-75