Sasi leads despite late blip

Sasidaran Muthiah © Arep Kulal|PGM
Sasidaran Muthiah © Arep Kulal|PGM

Taiping [PERAK]: Sasidaran Muthiah took the outright lead at Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Taiping Championship on Friday after shooting a one-under 71 at Taiping Golf & Country Club.

The joint overnight leader moved to 10-under 206 after 54 holes to hold a slim one-shot advantage over the Sabahan pair of Ben Leong (70) and Nicholas Fung (72) in the RM180,000 tournament.

A round of 71 kept Anis Hassan in contention, three strokes back on 209 with Kenneth De Silva (69) and R. Nachimuthu (71) within touching distance in tied fifth.

On a day when the course play tougher than it did over the first two days, Sasidaran’s round was marked by an up-and-down experience.

Having started with a bogey, the 38-year-old made three birdies through the 12th before dropping another stroke at the 13th hole. He birdied the 15th and 16th but then surrendered three strokes over the last two holes as he finished with a disappointing bogey and double-bogey.

“It was tough out there. I started with a bogey but got things right again with three birdies and then towards the end, just made a couple of mistakes that cost me.”

He added that despite the hiccups at the end, he was relatively pleased with his overall round. “Yes, the bogey and double at the end spoilt it a little but I’m still happy because I feel there are improvements in my game and how I’m dealing with my expectations given that I’ve been in contention all week,” added Sasidaran, who is gunning for his first title on the flourishing domestic circuit.

Leading third round scores (Par-72)
206 – M. Sasidaran 68-67-71
207 – Nicholas Fung 70-67-70, Ben Leong 66-69-72
209 – Anis Helmi Hassan 68-70-71
210 – Kenneth De Silva 70-71-69, R. Nachimuthu 70-69-71
211 – Airil Rizman Zahari 71-73-67
212 – Iylia Jamil 74-71-67, Hans Jamil 74-70-68, Khor Kheng Hwai 69-75-68, Muhd Wafiyuddin Abd Manaf 71-70-71, Shaifubari Muda 70-71-71, Kemarol Baharin 69-72-71