Cory claws ahead in Ipoh

Cory Crawford ©The ClubHouse
Cory Crawford ©The ClubHouse

Ipoh (PERAK): Australia’s Cory Crawford sizzled with a six-under 66 to pull away from the field after the third round of the 112th Malaysian Amateur Open on Saturday.

The 21-year-old Queenslander, who has held a share of the lead since the opening round, traded seven birdies with a single bogey to move four shot clear of overnight co-leader Marc Ong (70) of Singapore with a eight-under 208 overall.

Universiti Utara Malaysia undergraduate Mohd Wafiyuddin Abdul Manaf continued his aggressive charge with a three-under 69 to lie five strokes adrift in sole third. World number 45 Jarryd Felton of Australia was a further shot back after totalling 214 on the back of a round of two-under 70.

Local favourite Low Khai Jei left himself with a mountain to climb during Sunday’s final round as a double bogey on the 11th saw him finish with a two-over 74 to slip nine strokes off the pace in fifth.

Crawford got off a pretty nice start with a run of birdies and continued to hole some nice putts on the back nine to keep it going.

“I went out there trying to shoot a good number today and get clear of the field, which I very pleased to have done. I was a bit more focused today, striking the ball a lot more better and holed a lot more putts,” he noted.

“It leaves me a few clear but I’ve got to come back tomorrow and hit the ground running and work hard to finish off with a couple more birdies. I’ve knocked on door a fair bit this year, so it’s a matter of keeping my head down and getting the job done tomorrow,” added Crawford.

Ong remained confident of his chances after recovering from a poor bogey-bogey start with a hat-trick of birdies through sixth.

“It was good out there, given that I had a slow start but I bounced back strongly and that really helped me throughout the day. I felt much comfortable after that and built on that momentum. I believe that I kept myself in it despite the fantastic effort that Cory put in, hats off to him,” said the 18-year-old Singaporean.

“I probably will see how things go tomorrow but I think I’d stick to my strategy of hitting the centre of the greens and just trying to hole my putts as well as possible. I’d like to be a little more aggressive if things start to tilt in my favour but it’s going to be important to play smart here as it can really get tight out there on some of the driving holes and ,” shared Ong.

Leading third round scores (Malaysian unless stated):
208 – Cory Crawford (AUS) 71-71-66
212 – Marc Ong (SIN) 72-70-70
213 – Muhd Wafiyuddin Abdul Manaf 76-68-69
214 – Jarryd Felton (AUS) 72-72-70
217 – Low Khai Jei 71-71-74
218 – Zihao Chen (CHN) 72-71-75, Jake McLeod (AUS) 71-71-76, Solomon Emilio Rosidin 72-71-75
219 – Gregory Foo (SIN) 75-71-73, Danthai Boonma (THA) 73-73-73, Johnson Poh (SIN) 71-73-75
220 – Chan Tuck Soon 74-73-73
221 – Justin Raphael Quiban (PHI) 75-74-72, Joeh Seik (KOR) 76-74-71, Shinichi Mizuno (HKG) 73-71-77
222 – Maung Maung Oo (MYN) 75-73-74
223 – Danial Durisic 76-75-72, Chieh Po Lee (TPE) 77-74-72, Yuma Ohno (JPN) 77-72-74, Muhd Afif Mohd Razif 74-74-75, Udayan Mane (IND) 76-72-75