KUCHING [Sarawak] : Frenchman Erwan Vieilledent edged closer towards a first career win by shooting a one-under-par 71 to lead by one shot over Malaysia’s R. Nachimuthu in the third round of the PGM MNRB Sarawak Championship on Friday.
Leading third round scores (Par-72):
Malaysian unless stated
208 – Erwan Vieilledent (FRA) 69-68-71
209 – R. Nachimuthu 69-68-72
210 – Casey O’Toole (USA) 70-68-72, Airil Rizman Zahari 67-69-74
211 – Masaru Takahashi (JPN) 70-72-69, Choo Tze Huang (SIN) 72-70-69, Jordan Irawan (INA) 72-72-67, Hsieh Chi-hsien (TPE) 73-68-70, Nirun Sae-ueng (THA) 70-71-70, Janne Kaske (FIN) 72-67-72
212 – Blake Snyder (USA) 73-69-70, Jake Stirling (AUS) 70-72-70, Tirawat Kaewsiribandit (THA) 72-69-71, Paul Donahoo (AUS) 67-74-71, Ratchapol Jantavara (THA) 71-70-71, Wilson Choo 68-72-72, Nils Floren (SWE) 70-68-74
213 – M. Sasidaran 69-72-72, Thammanoon Sriroj (THA) 73-68-72
The 23-year-old rookie from Cannes traded two birdies and one eagle against three bogeys for an eight-under-par 208 total at the RM200,000 (approximately US$55,400) event to hold a narrow advantage at the Kelab Golf Sarawak.
Nachimuthu fired a 72 to stay in the hunt for a first Asian Development Tour (ADT) title while Casey O’Toole of the United States posted a 72 to share third place with overnight leader Airil Rizman, who stumbled to a 74 for a 210 total.
Vieilledent was persuaded by Asian Tour regular Lionel Weber to play at the Qualifying School earlier this year and even though he missed out on an Asian Tour card, he hopes to gain more experience on the ADT.
“Lionel told me I should go over and try qualifying school because the Asian Tour is growing bigger and bigger. You get to travel to interesting places and my father told me it will be a good opportunity to play here because it is different than Europe,” said Vieilledent.
“This is my first year in Asia and I love it. The ambiance is very good and the players are helpful. It is a nice tour to be on. People help each other a lot,” added the Frenchman, who lives in Kuala Lumpur to make travelling in Asia easier.
A former French national team player and a graduate from the University of Memphis in the United States, Vieilledent produced the shot of the day when he tapped in for eagle on the ninth hole thanks to a superb three wood approach shot from 215 metres.
“Honestly, I’m going to come and play golf. I’m not expecting anything. I will just do my best and have fun on the golf course. The scoring will take care of its own,” explained Vieilledent.