Malaysians blown off course

©Stanley Chou|AAC
©Stanley Chou|AAC

HONG KONG: The Malaysian challenge at the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship (AAC) collapsed on Saturday as high winds threatened to wreak havoc on third round proceedings at the Clearwater Bay & Golf Country Club.

Chan Tuck Soon salvaged a three-over 73 in challenging conditions to take a share of 27th on even-par 210 while it was a day to forget for the other two Malaysians remaining in the elite competition.

National number one Low Khai Jei cut a disappointing figure with a humbling 80 while youngster Daeng Abdul Rahman Abdul Aziz found the going tough, returning with a bogey-ridden round 83 to lie at the tail-end of the leaderboard.

With winds blowing in excess of 20 miles per hour, Chan was relieved to limit the damage as he marked his card with four birdies, five bogeys and a double bogey.

“The wind was really strong from the start and it picked up as the round progressed. I was three shots down after the opening two holes but managed to regain my composure to drain birdies on third, sixth, seventh and 11th to move to one-under inspite of my inexperience in this conditions.

“But at the end, despite taking a more conservative approach, my game was just overpowered by the howling winds and I am pleased to stay at even-par for the tournament,” said the 21-year-old.

At the summit, China’s Cheng Jin stayed on course for victory with a battling one-under 69, thanks to a birdie on the closing hole.

Jin, who has led since the opening round, totalled 11-under 199 with Australian amateur champion Cameron Davis and countryman Ryan Ruffels, the highest-ranked amateur in the field at number eight, a shot behind on the back of matching 67s.

With heavy showers and strong winds forecast for Sunday as a result of tropical storm Mujigae, tournament organisers have issued a statement that the 54-hole scores would determine the winner if the fourth and final round is washed out.

Leading third round scores >
199 – Cheng Jin (CHN) 62-68-69
200 – Ryan Ruffels (AUS) 69-64-67, Cameron Davis (AUS) 69-64-67
202 – Chun-An Yu (TPE) 66-69-66, Tae Ho Kim (KOR) 66-68-68
203 – Antonio Murdaca (AUS) 69-70-64
204 – Sangchai Keawcharoen (THA) 67-70-67
205 – Lloyd Jefferson Go (PHI) 70-68-67, Joshua Munn (NZL) 69-69-67, Tae Koh (NZL) 71-67-67
206 – Sungho Yun (KOR) 69-69-68

Selected Malaysians:
210 – Chan Tuck Soon 66-71-73
216 – Low Khai Jei 71-65-80
226 – Daeng Abdul Rahman Abd Aziz 71-72-83