Malaysia’s Sukree Othman stood on the brink of his maiden Asian Development Tour (ADT) breakthrough when he fired a six-under-par 66 to snatch the third round lead at the RM200,000 (approx. US$60,000) PGM Sime Darby Harvard Championship on Friday.
Overnight leader Arie Irawan, also of Malaysia, slipped one spot down to second after carding a 68 while compatriot Kemarol Baharin signed for the day’s lowest score of 64 to take third place at the ADT season-opening event.
Sukree stumbled early with a bogey-four on the second hole but picked himself up quickly by firing four birdies on three, seven, eight and nine to turn in 33.
He continued his birdie run with another three birdies on holes 10, 12 and 14 before making pars in his last four holes to sign for a three-day total of 15-under-par 201 at the Harvard Golf and Country Club.
Arie, who held the lead for the first two days, was pleased with his ability to stay focused as he believes that will ultimately determine the winner this week.
“The guy who’s mentally the toughest will win. I played my best, stayed patient and I’m delighted I managed to keep the bogeys off my card today.
“It’s going to be a tight race to the finishing line tomorrow and I’m looking forward to the challenge,” said Arie.
Baharin is also optimistic of his chances. The Malaysian came close to a breakthrough on the ADT at the season-ending PGM MIDF KLGCC Championship ln 2014.
With a clear sight at glory this week, he is looking forward to better that third-place finish he secured in Kuala Lumpur last year.
“It’s really awesome! My approach play was spectacular and I managed to hit most of my shots very close to the pins today.
“I know I have a chance this week and with the Olympics coming up next year, the world ranking points are important for me. I’m going to stay focus and hopefully, I can do it tomorrow (win),” said Baharin.
Since it was inaugurated in 2010, the ADT has grown from five events in the first year to a record 21 tournaments in 2014. The ADT has announced a provisional 2015 schedule of a minimum 17 tournaments with several more to be announced in due course.
For more information on the ADT, please visit www.asiandevelopmenttour.com
Leading third round scores:
201- Sukree OTHMAN (MAS) 70-65-66
202- Arie IRAWAN (MAS) 63-71-68
203- Kemarol BAHARIN (MAS) 70-69-64
204- Sean RIORDAN (NZL) 70-68-66, Danny CHIA (MAS) 69-68-67, Mathiam KEYSER (RSA) 70-65-69
205- Steve HAN (USA) 71-68-66, Masaru TAKAHASHI (JPN) 69-69-67, Oskar ARVIDSSON (SWE) 69-66-70