Taipei: Australia’s Scott Barr took a commanding third round lead after posting a four-under-par 68 to move three shots clear of the chasing pack at the Yeangder Tournament Players Championship (TPC) on Saturday.
Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond surged into second place following a 67 while Malaysia’s Nicholas Fung also remained on course for his maiden breakthrough after returning with a 68 that saw him share third place with Thailand’s Pariya Junhasavasdikul, Australia’s Sam Brazel and Hung Chien-yao of Chinese Taipei.
Barr, who held a share of the overnight lead, continued to put himself in front after opening strongly with four birdies in his front-nine at the Linkou International Golf and Country Club.
Despite dropping two successive shots on 12 and 13, the 44-year-old, who has never made the cut in seven starts on the Asian Tour, held his nerves to finish off his round strongly with a three-day total of 13-under-par 203.
“I struggled a little with the driver today but all in all I managed myself well on the golf course. I started to lose my focus a little in the back-nine. It was a difficult afternoon especially with the back-nine being tougher than the front.
“I’m going to attack whenever I can tomorrow and play conservatively when the need calls for it. Three shots is a good lead and hopefully I get a few good breaks tomorrow and it keeps carrying on,” said Barr.
Jazz also signalled his intention of winning his maiden Asian Tour title when he stormed out the blocks quickly with an outward 32.
The 20-year-old traded one birdie against a bogey in his next three holes after the turn and would complete his round confidently with another closing birdie on 18.
“I’ve been playing very well the last three weeks and I’m feeling pretty good about my game. The greens here are the hardest part for me here. I just want to play my best. If I’m leading, I will keep maintaining my position. If not, I’ll be aggressive and try to catch-up,” said the 20-year-old Thai.
With a grandstand finish at the Yeangder TPC in sight, Jazz knows he cannot afford to be complacent and is optimistic of a win.
“I’m not going to feel nervous but I want to go into tomorrow’s round with high hopes and know that I can actually do it,” said Jazz.
Like Jazz, Fung is also searching for his first victory on Tour.
The Malaysian, who has come close to winning his maiden Asian Tour win on several occasions, is determined not to let another golden opportunity slip away.
“I’m only a few shots back and if I get a really low score tomorrow, who knows? This could be my week. I believe it’s only a matter of time before I win,” said Fung after mixing his card with three birdies, an eagle and a bogey.
Leading Scores after round 3 of the Yeangder TPC 2016 being played at the par 72, 7108 Yards Linkou GcC course (am - denotes amateur):
203 - Scott BARR (AUS) 68-67-68.
206 - Jazz JANEWATTANANOND (THA) 72-67-67.
207 - Sam BRAZEL (AUS) 69-71-67, Pariya JUNHASAVASDIKUL (THA) 66-73-68, Nicholas FUNG (MAS) 72-67-68, HUNG Chien-yao (TPE) 68-68-71.
208 - Masaru TAKAHASHI (JPN) 69-70-69, Casey O'TOOLE (USA) 67-71-70, Namchok TANTIPOKHAKUL (THA) 65-70-73.
209 - Gunn CHAROENKUL (THA) 70-72-67, Carlos PIGEM (ESP) 66-70-73.
210 - Shunya TAKEYASU (JPN) 71-70-69, LIN Chien-bing (TPE) 70-70-70, Alessandro TADINI (ITA) 72-67-71.
211 - CHEN Hao-sen (TPE) 70-71-70, Michael WRIGHT (AUS) 68-72-71, Paul PETERSON (USA) 72-70-69, Johannes VEERMAN (USA) 70-69-72, Jason KNUTZON (USA) 69-70-72, Danny CHIA (MAS) 70-68-73, Javi COLOMO (ESP) 65-71-75.
212 - Poom SAKSANSIN (THA) 73-69-70, Gaganjeet BHULLAR (IND) 72-70-70, Wolmer MURILLO (VEN) 69-71-72, LEE Chieh-po (TPE) 70-70-72, Dodge KEMMER (USA) 71-71-70, Jbe KRUGER (RSA) 72-68-72, Miguel TABUENA (PHI) 67-72-73, Chiragh KUMAR (IND) 70-69-73, Simon YATES (SCO) 71-67-74.