Canadian Jared Du Toit is wasting no time in taking advantage of the playing opportunities afforded to him by graduating from the Asian Tour Qualifying School last month.

He shot a fine nine-under-par 62 to take the third-round lead in the US$1million IRS Prima Malaysian Open at The Mines Resort and Golf Club, in Kuala Lumpur.

His tournament total of 17-under gives him a one-stroke lead from joint-overnight leader Australian Kevin Yuan, who fired a 68, the same score as John Catlin from the United States, who is one shot further back – in the curtain raiser for the Asian Tour’s 2024 season.

Spain’s David Puig fired a 62 and is tied for fourth place, three off the lead, with Korean Bio Kim and Deyen Lawson from Australia, who both shot 66s, and England’s Steve Lewton, in with a 68.

The other co-leader at the start of the day Khavish Varadan from Malaysia slipped back with 72 and is five off the pace, along with compatriot Ervin Chang, who carded a 69.

“You know everything was working, just one of those,” said 28-year-old Du Toit, from Alberta – who made 10 birdies, including four in succession from the ninth and three on the trot from the 15th, and one bogey.

“Got off to a nice start, made a nice birdie on the first hole, and just kind of kept it going. Hit a lot of quality shots on the smart side of the hole, and the putter got hot for me, and I made a couple.

“Probably the hole of my tournament was the bogey on 14, the par-three. I hit it in the water, did not hit a great wedge shot but made an 18 footer. That kept the momentum going. Just all in all a great day.”

The Canadian also played the Korn Ferry Qualifying School and is delighted to be finally playing for money in a tournament.

Du Toit, who won on the PGA Tour Canada in 2021, added: “I am loving being in Asia. It’s only my second time here, I was in Thailand for the Q School. I love Asian food, so it’s been pretty seamless there.

“I chose Asia as I wanted kind of a promotion for lack of better words. Played Canadian and Latin tours for a while and I heard great things about Asia, all the events, places you get to travel. It really excited me, so I signed up, and I was lucky enough to make it through Q School and now we are here.”

Tomorrow he will be hoping to emulate Rick Gibson’s victory in this event in 1991, which saw him become the only Canadian to win Malaysia’s National Open.

Yuan, chasing his first Asian Tour win, went out in one over but recovered well with a four-under homeward half.

He said: “It was a fun day out there, the pins were a little bit tougher, so I played a little bit more safe today. Overall, I am pretty happy with how I played, not too many huge mistakes. I am just looking forward to tomorrow.”

Catlin is attempting to make it win number five on the Asian Tour and will be one of the favourites tomorrow.

He dropped a shot on the last missing a nine footer, and made a double on the par-four fifth where he found water off the tee but he was content with his days work.

“I am happy, excited to be in this position,” he said.

“I made a couple of mistakes but even that missed putt on 18 was so, so close. The putter feels good in my hands, and it’s been a while since that’s been the case. It’s a matter of going through the same processes tomorrow, nothing changes.”

The week marks the 55th staging of Malaysia’s National Open.

The event is part of The Open Qualifying Series and will see the leading three players, not otherwise exempt, qualify for The Open at Royal Troon Golf Club July 18-21.

Scores after round 3 of the IRS Prima Malaysian Open being played at  The Mines Resort & Golf Club, a par 71 course (am – denotes amateur):
196 – Jared Du Toit (CAN) 70-64-62.
197 – Kevin Yuan (AUS) 65-64-68.
198 – John Catlin (USA) 65-65-68.
199 – Bio Kim (KOR) 68-65-66, David Puig (ESP) 66-71-62, Deyen Lawson (AUS) 66-67-66, Steve Lewton (ENG) 65-66-68.
200 – Prom Meesawat (THA) 68-67-65, Angelo Que (PHI) 67-68-65, Suradit Yongcharoenchai (THA) 68-66-66, Austen Truslow (USA) 66-67-67, Jazz Janewattananond (THA) 62-70-68, Sangmoon Bae (KOR) 70-67-63.
201 – Yuvraj Singh Sandhu (IND) 70-64-67, Stefano Mazzoli (ITA) 66-68-67, Atiruj Winaicharoenchai (THA) 66-67-68, Ervin Chang (MAS) 70-62-69, Miguel Tabuena (PHI) 66-65-70, Khavish Varadan (MAS) 64-65-72.
202 – Chang Wei-lun (TPE) 68-67-67, Poosit Supupramai (THA) 69-66-67, Minkyu Kim (KOR) 69-67-66, Jeunghun Wang (KOR) 68-68-66, Sam Horsfield (ENG) 66-68-68, S.S.P. Chawrasia (IND) 69-65-68, Sarit Suwannarut (THA) 67-67-68.
203 – Manav Shah (USA) 67-68-68, Trevor Simsby (USA) 71-65-67, Naoki Sekito (JPN) 67-68-68, Denwit Boriboonsub (THA) 71-66-66, Gunn Charoenkul (THA) 67-70-66, Travis Smyth (AUS) 68-66-69, Jack Thompson (AUS) 69-68-66, Veer Ahlawat (IND) 62-71-70, Kiradech Aphibarnrat (THA) 71-66-66, Jed Morgan (AUS) 68-69-66, Richard T. Lee (CAN) 63-69-71, Guntaek Koh (KOR) 66-65-72.
204 – Hanmil Jung (KOR) 67-68-69, Chen Guxin (CHN) 69-67-68, Jordan Zunic (AUS) 68-68-68, Yongjun Bae (KOR) 67-67-70, Taichi Kho (HKG) 71-66-67, Pattaraphol Khanthacha (THA) 69-64-71, Lee Chieh-po (TPE) 65-72-67.
205 – Maverick Antcliff (AUS) 67-68-70, Sanghyun Park (KOR) 67-69-69, Danthai Boonma (THA) 65-70-70, Siddikur Rahman (BAN) 69-67-69, Seungtaek Lee (KOR) 69-68-68, Andrew Dodt (AUS) 66-68-71, Taichi Nabetani (JPN) 69-68-68, Brendan Jones (AUS) 68-69-68, Ian Snyman (RSA) 68-69-68, Settee Prakongvech (THA) 70-67-68.
206 – Ben Campbell (NZL) 69-66-71, Poom Saksansin (THA) 68-68-70, Honey Baisoya (IND) 70-66-70, James Piot (USA) 67-68-71, Ratchanon Chantananuwat (am, THA) 70-67-69, Sadom Kaewkanjana (THA) 69-68-69, Phachara Khongwatmai (THA) 70-67-69, Yeongsu Kim (KOR) 69-63-74.
207 – Douglas Klein (AUS) 71-63-73, Leunkwang Kim (MAS) 68-69-70.
208 – Chikkarangappa S. (IND) 69-66-73, Charlie Lindh (SWE) 69-68-71.
210 – Tatsunori Shogenji (JPN) 68-68-74, Scott Hend (AUS) 67-70-73.

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