Singapore’s Lam Chih Bing fired a sizzling seven-under-par 65 to grab a share of third round lead with overnight leader Sutijet Kooratanapisan of Thailand at the Ciputra Golfpreneur Tournament on Friday.
Starting the round with a three-shot deficit, Lam stayed bogey-free in his last 36 holes, highlighted by 10 birdies and one eagle, for a one-shot lead on 15-under-par 201 total with Sutijet, who signed for a 68, at the US$100,000 Asian Development Tour (ADT) event.
Michael Tran of Vietnam and Thailand’s Panuwat Muenlek shared third place after carding second consecutive 66s and 67s respectively while American Jarin Todd stayed a further shot back in fifth place following a 69 at the Damai Indah Golf, BSD course.
Australian Jordan Sherratt (66), Thailand’s Atthaphon Sriboonkaew (67) and Gyeongjun Lee (67) of Korea shared sixth on 204 while defending champion James Byrne of Scotland fought his way back into top-10 after capping his best efforts of a 66 to tie in ninth position.
Having notched three top-five finishes this season, Lam is filled with confidence heading into the all-important final round as he set his sight on securing a maiden win on the ADT, which was launched in 2010 as a gateway to the premier Asian Tour.
“I played some solid golf so far this week and I am happy to put myself in a good position heading into the final round. Everything is my game clicked and I holed some good putts today, which included a 20-footer birdie putt on the par-three third hole,” said the 38-year-old Singaporean, a one-time winner on the Asian Tour.
Despite capping a superb front nine where he was flawless with four birdies, Sutijet was unable to ride on his momentum after the turn as he traded two birdies against two bogeys on his way home to tie the lead with Lam.
The Thai, however, believes that he can still keep up with his title aspirations should he stay true to his form in the final round.
“I will keep it going into the final round. I tried not to look at the leader board out there so I wasn’t aware that Lam was chasing me towards the end of the round. That took a little pressure off me. I will give it my best again tomorrow and we will see how it goes,” said the 27-year-old Sutijet.
Since it was inaugurated in 2010, the ADT has grown from five events in the first year to 21 tournaments in 2014. A record 25 tournaments has been confirmed for the 2015 season.
The ADT will continue to reward the top-five finishers on the final Order of Merit 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:
201 – LAM Chih Bing (SIN) 69-67-65, Sutijet KOORATANAPISAN (THA) 66-67-68
202 – Michael TRAN (VIE) 70-66-66, Panuwat MUENLEK (THA) 68-67-67
203 – Jarin TODD (USA) 66-68-69
204 – Jordan SHERRATT (AUS) 66-72-66, Atthaphon SRIBOONKAEW (THA) 71-66-67, Gyeongjun LEE (KOR) 66-72-66
205 – James BYRNE (SCO) 67-72-66, Tirawat KAEWSIRIBANDIT (THA) 70-67-68
206 – Berry HENSON (USA) 74-66-66, Danny CHIA (MAS) 67-70-69