Rawang [SELANGOR]: Danny Chia shot a five-under-par 67 to stretch his overnight advantage to a massive seven strokes at the Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Panasonic Open Malaysia – Tournament of Champions on Friday.
The national number one will go into the fourth and final round tomorrow with a lead that he does not look like losing, given his outstanding display up to this stage, where he finds himself with a 14-under 202 total at the Templer Park Country Club.
Singapore’s Mardan Mamat shot an even-par 72 to stay second on the leaderboard with a seven-under 209 total, while the country’s top-ranked amateur Gavin Kyle Green moved into a tie for third after a 69. He was joined on six-under by Thailand’s Wisut Artjanawat (74).
Kwanchai Tannin (73), also of Thailand, and defending champion Kemarol Baharin (73) were two strokes adrift in a tie for fifth. Kenneth De Silva (72) was alone in seventh place on three-under 213.
Understandably pleased with the way things are panning out, Chia said he would aim to just “continue playing” his own game and hopefully it would prove enough to secure the title.
“This is the biggest lead I’ve ever had on Tour going into the last round,” said the five-time PGM Tour winner. “And what I need to do now is make sure that I play my own game tomorrow (in the last round). I cannot afford to think about winning it now, I need to focus on the job in hand.”
Turning to his game as a whole, Chia said he remained comfortable with how he was striking the ball, although he did add that unlike yesterday when he carded a bogey-free 64, his driving off the tee was not as sharp.
“But I am still happy with how I am hitting the ball. My iron shots are giving me chances at birdie and when I have strayed off the mark, my recoveries have been good,” he added.
Leading third round scores (Malaysian unless stated):
202 – Danny Chia 71-64-67
209 – Mardan Mamat (SIN) 69-68-72
210 – Gavin Kyle Green (A) 71-70-69, Wisut Artjanawat (THA) 69-67-74
212 – Kwanchai Tannin (THA) 70-69-73, Kemarol Baharin 69-70-73
213 – Kenneth De Silva 72-69-72
214 – Jhonnel Ababa (PHI) 72-72-70
215 – Nicholas Fung 71-71-73
216 – Masaru Takahashi (JPN) 73-72-71, Shaaban Hussin 71-73-72
217 – Ben Leong 74-68-75, Arie Irawan 73-69-75
218 – Sukree Othman 73-72-73
219 – Mitsuhiko Hashizume (JPN) 71-74-74