With another display of flawless golf, Danny Chia shot a five-under-par 67 to stretch his lead to a massive seven strokes in the Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Tour’s Panasonic Open Tournament of Champions after the third round at Templer Park Country Club in Rawang today.
The veteran Malaysian, top-ranked among his compatriots in the world standings, will go into the fourth and final day tomorrow with a lead that he does not look like losing, given his outstanding display up to this stage, where he finds himself with a 14-under 202 total for the tournament.
Chia’s bogey-free round sharply brought into focus his efforts as not only was it the best round of the day, but a mere four players in the top-18 managed to go under-par.
Understandably pleased with the way things are panning out, Chia said he would aim to just “continue playing” his own game and hopefully it would prove enough to secure the title.
“This is the biggest lead I’ve ever had on Tour going into the last round,” said the multiple winner. “And what I need to do now is make sure that I play my own game tomorrow (in the last round). I cannot afford to think about winning it now… I need to focus on the job in hand.”
Turning to his game as a whole, Chia said he remained comfortable with how he was striking the ball, although he did add that unlike yesterday when he carded a bogey-free 64, his driving off the tee was not as sharp.
“But I am still happy with how I am hitting the ball. My iron shots are giving me chances at birdie and when I have strayed off the mark, my recoveries have been good,” he added.
Singapore’s Mardan Mamat shot an even-par 72 to stay second on the leaderboard with a seven-under 209 total, while the country’s top-ranked amateur Gavin Kyle Green moved into a tie for third after a 69. He was joined on six-under with Thailand’s Wisut Artjanawat (74).
Kwanchai Tannin (73), also of Thailand, and defending champion Kemarol Baharin (73) were tied for fifth, another two strokes back on 212.
Kenneth De Silva (72) was alone in seventh place on three-under 213.
The Panasonic Open, the first event of the PGM Tour’s new campaign, carries world-ranking points for the first time.
Leading Third Round Scores
202 Danny Chia (Mas) 71-64-67
209 Mardan Mamat (Sin) 69-68-72
210 Gavin Kyle Green (Mas-Am) 71-70-69, Wisut Artjanawat (Tha) 69-67-74
212 Kwanchai Tannin (Tha) 70-69-73, Kemarol Baharin (Mas) 69-70-73
213 Kenneth De Silva (Mas) 72-69-72
214 Jhonnel Ababa (Phi) 72-72-70
215 Nicholas Fung (Mas) 71-71-73
216 Masaru Takahashi (Jpn) 73-72-71, Shaaban Hussin (Mas) 71-73-72
217 Ben Leong (Mas) 74-68-75, Arie Irawan (Mas) 73-69-75
218 Sukree Othman (Mas) 73-72-73
219 Mitsuhiko Hashizume (Jpn) 71-74-74