Teenage professional Micah Shin of the United States put on a brilliant display when he carded a second consecutive five-under-par 67 to take over the lead at the penultimate round of the PGM LADA Langkawi Championship on Friday.
Starting the round four shots back, Shin fired six birdies against a lone bogey for a two-shot lead on 14-under-par 202 at the Gunung Raya Golf Resorts.
Singapore’s Lam Chih Bing also returned with a second straight 67 to share second place with overnight leader Wilson Choo of Malaysia, who battled to a 73, at the RM200,000 (approximately US$60,000) Asian Development Tour (ADT) event.
Janne Kaske of Finland, playing in only his second event on the ADT, stayed one shot back in fourth following a 68 while Arie Irawan, highest ranked Malaysian in the world, matched his opening efforts of a 70 to sit in fifth place on 206 at the PGM LADA Langkawi Championship.
Shin credited his composure for another solid round which put him right on track for a maiden victory on the ADT.
“My game’s feeling good. I didn’t miss a single fairway today. My putting was good too. It’s always nice to be playing well,” said the lanky 18-year-old.
Shin had launched his bid for an Asian Tour card at the Qualifying School in Thailand last month where he fought bravely through the first stage, only to miss the mark after finishing outside top-40 at the final stage the following week.
“I will focus on playing well on the ADT this year. I will keep it the same for tomorrow and continue to do what I have been doing. Hopefully I can claim my first victory but we will see how it goes,” added Shin.
Despite falling off the lead, Choo held his head high and is determined to revive his challenge for a maiden ADT victory when he heads into the all-important final round.
“I just didn’t give myself enough chances to make birdies and I didn’t putt as well today but I have no complaints. I’m still happy to keep myself into contention heading into the final round. I will try and stay as calm as possible tomorrow and we will see how it goes,” said the 25-year-old Malaysian.
“Arie and Nicholas (Fung) have done really well on the ADT and it’s good to see that. My aim is to play my way onto the Asian Tour. That will be my motivation to play well,” added Choo, who mixed his card with three birdies against four bogeys.
The winner of the PGM LADA Langkawi Championship will take home US$9,678 and receive six Official World Golf Ranking points.
The ADT will reward the top-five finishers on the Order of Merit at the end of this season with Asian Tour cards for 2016.
With the Olympic Games looming in 2016 where golf will be reintroduced as a medal sport, players in the region could earn their spots in Rio de Janeiro by earning Official World Golf Ranking points through the Asian Tour and ADT.
For more information on the ADT, please visit www.asiandevelopmenttour.com
Leading third round scores:
202 – Micah Lauren SHIN (USA) 68-67-67
204 – LAM Chih Bing (SIN) 70-67-67, Wilson CHOO (MAS) 64-67-73
205 – Janne KASKE (FIN) 67-70-68
206 – Arie IRAWAN (MAS) 70-66-70
207 – Nakarintra RATANAKUL (THA) 70-67-70
208 – Masaru TAKAHASHI (JPN) 70-68-70, Natthapong NIYOMCHON (THA) 68-66-74
209 – CHOO Tze Huang (SIN) 71-70-68, Jordan IRAWAN (INA) 72-69-68, George GANDRANATA (INA) 69-71-69, Shaaban HUSSIN (MAS) 71-67-71, LOW Khai Jei (A) (MAS) 67-70-72