Natthapong steers clear in PD

Natthapong Niyomchon ©PGM Tour
Natthapong Niyomchon ©PGM Tour

Port Dickson [NEGERI SEMBILAN]: Thailand’s Natthapong Niyomchon blitzed the field at the Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) ASEAN PGA PD Championship on Friday with a superb six-under-par 65 giving him a two-stroke lead heading into the final round.

Natthapong, who led after the first round following a 66 but dropped to joint second after Thursday’s 70, played near flawless golf to zero in on his first ASEAN PGA Tour title.

He sits on 12-under 201, two ahead of Michael Bibat of the Philippines who birdied the final two holes for a 67 to stay in the hunt at Port Dickson Golf & Country Club.

Thailand’s Nattawat Suvajanakorn zoomed up the leaderboard with a 66 to claim third place, a shot behind Bibat.

Local boy Kenneth De Silva was the top-placed Malaysian, registering a 68 to climb up to fifth on five-under 208.

Natthapong made his move with a front nine of 31, including three birdies in a row from the third hole and another at the eighth.

Further birdies on the 11th and 15th saw him stretch his lead but he faltered momentarily with his only bogey of the day at the 17th, before finishing with a birdie.

The 26-year-old Natthapong best finish of the season on the burgeoning coming at the PGM-ASEAN PGA UMW Impian Championship, where he was fourth.

Leading third round scores (Par-71) >
Malaysian unless stated
201 – Natthapong Niyomchon (THA) 66-70-65
203 – Mike Bibat (PHI) 68-68-67
204 – Nattawat Suvajanakorn (THA) 69-69-66
205 – Nirun Sae-Ueng (THA) 67-68-70
208 – Kenneth De Silva 69-71-68
209 – Mohd Azman Basharudin 70-70-69, Mohd Sukree Othman 69-71-69, Chanat Sakulpolphaisan (THA) 71-68-70, Muhd Wafiyuddin Abd Manaf 71-66-72
210 – Nakarinta Ratanakul (THA) 77-65-68, Chirat Jirasuwan (THA) 70-72-68, Pijit Petchasem (THA) 75-67-68, Chanachok Dejpiratanamongkol (THA) 68-72-70, Kananek Saksricharoen (THA) 70-70-70