Malaysia’s Nicholas Fung and Bangladesh’s Siddikur Rahman shared the third round honours as they continued their mastery at the inaugural World Classic Championship at Laguna National on Saturday.
Fung carded a two-under-par 70 while Siddikur broke par for the first time with a 69 to stay two shots ahead of the chasing pack with their three-day total of two-under-par 211 at the Laguna National Golf and Country Club.
India’s Chikka S continued his push for his maiden win on the Asian Tour by signing for a 67 to share third place with Thailand’s Danthai Boonma and Berry Henson of the United States at the US$750,000 Asian Tour event.
Fung is ready for a final day showdown in Singapore having endured a difficult season where his best result was a tied-42nd finish in Chinese Taipei.
With a good opportunity to stake his place in the winner’s circle this week, the Malaysian knows that a cautious approach on the demanding World Classic course will be vital.
“Tomorrow, I’ll try to play like how I have been playing these few days. I will remind myself not to be greedy and get aggressive out there tomorrow.
“I will try to keep my ball in play and tell myself not to make anything worse than a bogey when I hit a bad shot,” said Fung.
Siddikur, who came close to lifting his third Asian Tour title in India last week, has another chance at glory again at the World Classic Championship.
After rounds of 71 and 71, the Bangladeshi’s patience was finally rewarded when he returned with a red number on his card.
“Honestly, I really enjoyed my round today. I gave myself very good chances out there. I managed to grab those chances and came back with a low score. I am really happy with how I played today.
“This is not an easy course. You have to be patient. It will be the same tomorrow. We are all tired and I think the player who has the strongest stamina and a good mental game will have the chance to win tomorrow,” said Siddikur.
Chikka also has another opportunity to redeem himself, having fought his way into contention but ran out of steam in India last week.
The Asian Development Tour winner posted his best score of 67 following rounds of 76 and 70 and believes he can be counted as another likely contender for the World Classic Championship.
“My scores have been improving everyday which is great. I’m confident with my game and I’ve been playing well. I didn’t putt well on the first day and even yesterday, the putts were not falling in but I made sure I hit a lot of greens to shoot a one-under in the second round.
“I played good last week too but I just didn’t manage to hang in there on the last few holes. I know my game is in shape and I am very confident with how things are going,” said the Indian.
Leading scores after round 3 of the World Classic Championship being played at the par 71, 6935 Yards Laguna National GcC course (am – denotes amateur):
211 – Siddikur RAHMAN (BAN) 71-71-69, Nicholas FUNG (MAS) 74-67-70.
213 – Chikka S. (IND) 76-70-67, Danthai BOONMA (THA) 72-69-72, Berry HENSON (USA) 70-70-73.
214 – Chapchai NIRAT (THA) 76-69-69, Paul PETERSON (USA) 71-73-70, Chinnarat PHADUNGSIL (THA) 71-69-74.
215 – Danny CHIA (MAS) 73-72-70, Jyoti RANDHAWA (IND) 79-68-68, Panuphol PITTAYARAT (THA) 72-73-70, Jeunghun WANG (KOR) 69-75-71, Akinori TANI (JPN) 74-74-67, Sam BRAZEL (AUS) 69-74-72.
216 – Jbe KRUGER (RSA) 72-74-70, Prom MEESAWAT (THA) 73-73-70, Terry PILKADARIS (AUS) 74-71-71, Josh YOUNGER (AUS) 73-71-72, Namchok TANTIPOKHAKUL (THA) 71-71-74, Scott BARR (AUS) 69-71-76.
217 – Khalin JOSHI (IND) 73-74-70, Charlie WI (KOR) 71-73-73, Gaganjeet BHULLAR (IND) 74-69-74, Miguel TABUENA (PHI) 70-73-74, Shaun NORRIS (RSA) 71-71-75.
218 – Soomin LEE (KOR) 75-71-72, Peter EROFEJEFF (FIN) 75-72-71, Niall TURNER (IRL) 73-72-73, George GANDRANATA (INA) 74-71-73, Steve LEWTON (ENG) 75-74-69.
219 – Lionel WEBER (FRA) 75-71-73, Bongsub KIM (KOR) 76-71-72, Natipong SRITHONG (THA) 69-75-75, Shiv KAPUR (IND) 72-72-75, Antonio LASCUNA (PHI) 75-73-71, Thaworn WIRATCHANT (THA) 76-68-75, Rashid KHAN (IND) 75-69-75, Jazz JANEWATTANANOND (THA) 71-71-77.