Thailand’s Rattanon Wannasrichan maintained his lead in The Singapore International today at Tanah Merah Country Club, putting himself in position to try and land his second title on the Asian Tour.
The 27 year old returned a third round one-over-par 73 on the Tampines Course for a two-shot advantage over Korean teenager Joohyung Kim, who returned a 69, on another day of strong winds.
India’s Chikkarangappa S., in with a 70, is in third place three behind the leader – in the penultimate event of the 2020-21 season.
Thailand’s 14-year-old amateur star Ratchanon Chantananuwat, who was two behind the leader at the start of the day, slipped back with a 76 and is five off the pace.
Rattanon, winner of the 2017 Thailand Open, overcame nerves over the opening holes to stay in front and set up one of the most important days of his career tomorrow.
“I was really nervous in the beginning, but I calmed myself down by singing a Thai song in my mind and by talking to my caddie,” said the Thai golfer, who spent much of last year playing on the secondary circuit in Japan.
“As I keep saying, the course is so hard, everyone feels like that. But it is a good experience for me. I just have to take it shot by shot tomorrow.”
Bogeys on two, nine and 11 suggested it was not going to be Rattanon’s day, but he rallied with birdies on 12 and 18.
For the second day in a row he reached the brutal 626-yard par-five 18th in two but unlike yesterday his eagle putt slipped past the cup.
Kim, aged 19, moved into contention with the joint lowest round of the day, highlighted by a back nine of three under with birdies on 14, 17 and 18.
He said: “It’s so hard to be aggressive here just because of the conditions, obviously you see the scores … you shoot even par, you’re jumping up. So, play aggressive when I can but just try to play as conservative as I can, if possible. That’ll be the game plan.”
In 2019 after earning a battlefield promotion from the Asian Development Tour by claiming three events, he made an instant impact by winning in just his third start on the Asian Tour at the Panasonic Open in India.
Ratchanon, nicknamed “TK”, once again started impressively and was in the mix until a double-bogey on 11 was followed by three bogies in the last six holes.
“Hole 11 just unsettled me,” said Ratchanon.
“I should have not let that happen. It’s disappointing but at least I will be in the penultimate group tomorrow which has its advantages.”
Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond, the reigning Asian Tour Order of Merit champion, also carded a 76 and in joint 10th, eight behind Rattanon.
Wade Ormsby, the current leader of the Merit list, was another to card 76 and is 10 off the pace.
Scores after round 3 of the The Singapore International being played at the par 72, 7535 Yards Tanah Merah CC course (am – denotes amateur):
212 – Rattanon Wannasrichan (THA) 73-66-73.
214 – Joohyung Kim (KOR) 72-73-69.
215 – S Chikkarangappa (IND) 75-70-70.
216 – Khalin Joshi (IND) 67-74-75.
217 – Donlaphatchai Niyomchon (THA) 75-73-69, Ratchanon Chantananuwat (am, THA) 75-66-76.
218 – Kosuke Hamamoto (THA) 74-75-69.
219 – Chan Shih-chang (TPE) 71-77-71, Paul Peterson (USA) 70-73-76.
220 – Berry Henson (USA) 72-75-73, Pavit Tangkamolprasert (THA) 71-75-74, Natipong Srithong (THA) 79-67-74, Jazz Janewattananond (THA) 71-73-76.
221 – Bio Kim (KOR) 72-77-72, Steve Lewton (ENG) 73-75-73, Koh Deng Shan (SIN) 74-76-71, Yoseop Seo (KOR) 72-75-74, Rashid Khan (IND) 75-76-70.
222 – Ben Leong (MAS) 74-75-73, Jack Harrison (ENG) 74-74-74, Shahriffuddin Ariffin (MAS) 73-75-74, Doyeob Mun (KOR) 73-75-74, Siddikur Rahman (BAN) 75-76-71, William Harrold (ENG) 69-78-75, Rory Hie (INA) 73-74-75, Kevin Phelan (IRL) 80-71-71, Wade Ormsby (AUS) 72-74-76, Atiruj Winaicharoenchai (THA) 74-77-71.
223 – Danny Chia (MAS) 73-75-75, Ian Snyman (RSA) 77-71-75, Ben Eccles (AUS) 72-78-73, Phachara Khongwatmai (THA) 73-74-76, Bjorn Hellgren (SWE) 72-74-77, Jarin Todd (USA) 77-74-72, Angelo Que (PHI) 72-71-80.
224 – Prom Meesawat (THA) 74-75-75, Masanori Kobayashi (JPN) 72-76-76, Chang Wei-lun (TPE) 76-74-74, Viraj Madappa (IND) 77-71-76, Sadom Kaewkanjana (THA) 75-73-76, Danthai Boonma (THA) 73-75-76, Panuphol Pittayarat (THA) 78-73-73, Hongtaek Kim (KOR) 72-74-78, Daeng Rahman (MAS) 76-75-73.
225 – Amir Nazrin (MAS) 76-73-76, Abdul Hadi (SIN) 79-70-76, Shinichi Mizuno (JPN) 79-70-76, Ryan Ang (am, SIN) 76-73-76, Leunkwang Kim (MAS) 79-71-75, Shubhankar Sharma (IND) 73-75-77, Seungsu Han (USA) 75-73-77, Sihwan Kim (USA) 76-75-74, Itthipat Buranatanyarat (THA) 77-74-74, Ajeetesh Sandhu (IND) 70-75-80.
226 – Mitchell Slorach (SIN) 76-73-77, Travis Smyth (AUS) 75-75-76, Gavin Green (MAS) 76-74-76, Gunn Charoenkul (THA) 76-74-76, Jeongwoo Ham (KOR) 74-76-76, Shiv Kapur (IND) 79-72-75, Richard T. Lee (CAN) 77-74-75, Abhijit Chadha (IND) 72-79-75.
227 – Trevor Simsby (USA) 77-73-77, Nitithorn Thippong (THA) 77-73-77.
228 – Mathiam Keyser (RSA) 71-80-77.
229 – Nicholas Fung (MAS) 75-76-78, Miguel Carballo (ARG) 79-72-78.
234 – Poom Pattaropong (THA) 74-76-84.