Chieh maintains slender lead in Melaka

Alor Gajah,Melaka; May 21: A third round of one-under-par 71 was enough for Chieh Po Lee of Chinese Taipei to stay atop the leaderboard of the 109th Malaysian Amateur Open at the A’ Famosa Golf Resort.

The 16-year-old’s three-day total of 203 saw him stay ahead of Australian Daniel Bringolf (right), who carded a superb 67 today to narrow the gap at the top to two strokes. Faldo Series Asia winner Abhijit Chadha of India managed a 71 to remain in third on 210, seven strokes adrift of the leader.

After scorching the course with early rounds of 65 and 67, Chieh endured a quiet day in the office as the birdies dried up on the inward nine.“Starting on the first nine, I played two-under but after crossing over, I hit a bad shot on the 10th and it affected my rhythm. Overall, the course played much slower today,” explained Chieh.

Low Khai Loon tops the Malaysian men with a three-day total of three-over 219 after carding a three-under 69 today.“I played pretty solid on the first nine with four birdies to make the turn on 32. A bogey on the 11th and a triple bogey on the par-five 13th almost caused me my round but luckily I managed three birdies in succession on the final three,” said the 20-year old Low.

In the ladies division, local hope Aretha Pan Herng (left) doubled her lead to bring herself within one round of the ladies crown with a round of three-under 69. The 17-year-old mixed five birdies with two bogeys to stay two shots ahead of Taiwanese Chi Wang. Pan attributed her score today to her sharp chipping game.

“Today my chipping was definitely better than my putting, as the latter cost me twice. I converted two chip-ins on the seventh and the 16th. Hopefully, my putter does its job tomorrow,” quipped Pan.

The cut for the ladies’ division came at 152 with 22 ladies making their way into the third and final round tomorrow.

Team Australia comprising Daniel Bringolf and Ryan Peake topped the two-day men’s team event after chalking up a total of 280 strokes. The Taiwanese combination of Chieh-Po Lee and Wei-Hou Liu came in second on 282 strokes with Thailand, comprising of Rattanon Wannasrichan and Natipong Srithong garnering 284 strokes to take third place. Local representatives Gavin Kyle Green and Kenneth Christian de Silva could only manage eighth placing out of the 12 teams that competed, finishing with 298 strokes.

In their mission to develop fresh golfing talents the Malaysian Golf Association held a junior clinic at the A’Famosa Golf Resort driving range for 34 juniors aged 6 to 12 years from selected schools in Melaka.National team coach V. Gunalen headed the session conducted by national squad members introducing grassroot level golf to the juniors.“This session is a follow-up to the state junior clinics that the MGA conducts annually,” said Major (R) Jimmy Ng, chief co-ordinator National Junior Development Programme.

Leading third round scores – Men’s Division
203 Chieh Po Lee (TWN) 65-67-71
205 Daniel Bringolf (AUS) 69-69-67
210 Abhijit Chadha (IND) 69-70-71
212 Rattanon Wannasrichan (THA) 71-72-69
214 Natipong Srithong (THA) 71-70-73, Jobim Carlos (PHI) 68-71-75

Leading second round scores – Ladies’ Division

137 Aretha Pan Herng 68-69
139 Chi Wang (TPE) 70-69
140 Jayvie Agojo (TPE) 69-71
141 Hsin En Tsai (TPE) 70-71
143 Dottie Ardina (PHI) 71-72