Jakarta: Jeev Milkha Singh of India fired a flawless six-under-par 66 to lead by one shot in the third round of the BANK BRI-JCB Indonesia Open on Saturday as he aims to end a four-year title drought.
The two-time Asian Tour number one posted six birdies for a 13-under-par 203 total to set-up a nail-biting finale against countryman Gaganjeet Bhullar, who settled for a 68 after he bogeyed the last hole at the Pondok Indah Golf Course.
Thailand’s Pannakorn Uthaipas returned with a 70 for a 205 total while local talent Danny Masrin trails by four shots after shooting a 67 as he aims to become the second Indonesian to win his National Open since 1985.
The penultimate round of the US$300,000 Asian Tour event was suspended at 5.20pm due to darkness and bad weather. Lionel Weber of France and Johannes Veerman of the United States have yet to finish their rounds where they are nine-under with one hole to play.
The 44-year-old Singh, who has won 14 titles around the world but not since 2012, was delighted to lead in the tournament after finishing 29 holes after the second round was suspended on Friday.
“I’ve been up since four in the morning and I played 29 holes today. I can’t remember the last time I played so many holes. Honestly, my feet are hurting but I should be ready by tomorrow,” he said.
“I want to give these young boys a run for their money. Mentally I’m 21 but physically I’m not. I want to keep playing this game for 10 years and for as long as I play, I want to make the most out of it,” Singh added.
After struggling with injuries in recent years, Singh played some of his best golf with the help of his coach and caddy Amritinder Singh. His young son also followed him for 18 holes to give him added motivation.
“At the end of the day you have to keep believing in yourself and keep working on the right stuff. I’m happy this week because my family are here with me and my son followed me for 18 holes for the first time in my life. I was focussing more on him and I think that helped!” said Singh.
Bhullar put himself in prime position to win the BANK BRI-JCB Indonesia Open for the second time in his career but he was disappointed to drop a shot on the last hole. He is enjoying a rich vein of form since winning in Korea last month.
“Everything was pretty smooth except the bogey on the last. I’m not pressing the panic button. I’m just trying to recall my memories from winning here before. I know I won this tournament before but it all comes to routine and process,” said the six-time Asian Tour winner.
The 26-year-old Pannakorn eagled the sixth hole from 10 yards to give himself a fighting chance at winning his first Asian Tour title as he trails Singh by two shots.
“I’m feeling excited about the final round. I made a lot of good putts this week. I hit some poor shots today but I saved par. I’m feeling confident and I will do my best tomorrow,” said the ever-smiling Thai.
The 24-year-old Masrin, who turned professional last year, reverted to his old putter as he rolled in six birdies to carry the hopes of the nation in the final round.
“My new putter felt good but it didn’t feel good in my hand so I decided to use the putter which has worked for me so far. My goal towards the end of the season is to play consistently and I’ve been doing that so hopefully tomorrow I’m holding that trophy,” said Masrin.
Scores after round 3 of the Bank BRI-JCB Indonesia Open 2016 being played at the par 72, 7243 Yards Pondok Indah GC course (am - denotes amateur):
203 - Jeev Milkha SINGH (IND) 71-66-66.
204 - Gaganjeet BHULLAR (IND) 71-65-68.
205 - Pannakorn UTHAIPAS (THA) 69-66-70.
207 - Danny MASRIN (INA) 68-72-67, Akinori TANI (JPN) 72-69-66, Panuphol PITTAYARAT (THA) 70-69-68.
208 - Danthai BOONMA (THA) 69-71-68, Javi COLOMO (ESP) 70-68-70, Chinnarat PHADUNGSIL (THA) 65-71-72.
209 - Prom MEESAWAT (THA) 70-70-69, Rattanon WANNASRICHAN (THA) 70-70-69, Pavit TANGKAMOLPRASERT (THA) 70-69-70, Jazz JANEWATTANANOND (THA) 69-67-73.
210 - Wolmer MURILLO (VEN) 72-69-69, Nicolas PAEZ (USA) 68-71-71, Jason KNUTZON (USA) 67-72-71, Shubhankar SHARMA (IND) 74-65-71, Natipong SRITHONG (THA) 64-75-71.
211 - Dodge KEMMER (USA) 71-69-71, Toni FERRER (ESP) 73-68-70, Sam BRAZEL (AUS) 69-69-73, Soonsang HONG (KOR) 67-71-73, Masaru TAKAHASHI (JPN) 69-69-73, Tirawat KAEWSIRIBANDIT (THA) 69-68-74, Jyoti RANDHAWA (IND) 73-70-68.
212 - Alessandro TADINI (ITA) 69-72-71, Almay Rayhan YAQUTAH (am, INA) 68-69-75, Quincy QUEK (SIN) 68-75-69.