Poom powers into joint lead #DiamondCup

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Poom Saksansin of Thailand

Poom Saksansin of Thailand

Chiba Prefecture, Japan, September 23: Thailand’s Poom Saksansin brilliantly stayed bogey-free for the second straight day at the Asia-Pacific Diamond Cup, signing for a third round four-under-par 67 to grab a share of the lead with Tadahiro Takayama of Japan on Saturday.

Starting the day six shots back, Poom reeled in nine straight pars from the first before storming home with four birdies to match the three-day efforts of Takayama on 12-under-par 201 total at the Caledonian Golf Club.

Takayama, who had led since the opening round, stretched his overnight six-shot lead to seven after sinking two straight birdies from the 10th hole but four bogeys in his closing six holes saw him give away his shots as he signed for an eventual 73.

The leading duo hold a one-shot advantage over Daisuke Kataoka of Japan, who returned with the day’s lowest round of 66 to sit in third place, at the ¥‎150 million (approximately US$1.37 million) event.

Chinese Taipei’s Hung Chien-yao and Shugo Imahira of Japan shared fourth place on 205 following respective rounds of 69 and 71 at the event co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and the Japan Golf Tour Organisation (JGTO).

Did you know?

  • Poom did not miss a single fairway today. He hit all 14 fairways in his round of 67.
  • Poom has not drop a single shot in his last 39 holes at the Asia-Pacific Diamond Cup.
  • Poom, placed 16th on the Order of Merit, is chasing for a third Asian Tour victory and a second win this season. He claimed his first title at the Indonesian Masters last October and his second win came at the TAKE Solutions Masters in India last month.
  • The 24-year-old Poom endured a back injury after securing his maiden win last year. He was advised by his doctor to lose weight so as to avoid getting injured again. He has lost about 10 kilograms since.
  • Takayama is chasing for a first title on the Asian Tour and a first wire-to-wire win in his career. He has won a total of five titles on the JGTO. His fifth and last victory came at the 2011 Casio World Open in Japan.
  • Kataoka had finished in tied-seventh positions in the last two consecutive editions of the Asia-Pacific Diamond Cup.

“I feel like I can walk easier on the course after losing so much weight this year. I definitely feel fitter than before. I feel much easier when I tie my shoe lace now (laughs). I am eating less too so it has definitely helped my game.” – Poom Saksansin, 24

Players’ quotes:

Poom Saksansin of Thailand

Poom Saksansin of Thailand

Poom Saksansin (Tha) – Third Round 67 (-4), Total 201 (-12)

I putted well today. I hit my tee shots good too and I had a bit of luck. I was just trying to keep my ball in play, hit the fairways then the greens then try to make the putts. That’s it. I am not thinking about anything else.

I didn’t even realised I hit all the fairways today. It’s not true that I don’t feel any pressure out there. I did feel nervous out there today, especially on hole 15. It’s a difficult hole. I duffed my second shot but I got lucky as the ball flew over the water hazard and rolled close to the pin.

I am happy to keep the bogeys away today. I will try and just do the same things for tomorrow. I will do my best, if I win, it will be very good but if I don’t, it’s alright. I had some good par saves on the front nine thanks to my good putting.

I wasn’t able to give myself birdie chances because the wind was just coming in all directions out there. My first birdie for the day finally came on the 10th hole after I sank a three-footer. That was the turning point for me. I got some confidence from there.

I feel like I can walk easier on the course after losing so much weight this year. I definitely feel fitter than before. I feel much easier when I tie my shoe lace now (laughs). I am eating less too so it has definitely helped my game.

I won my second title in India last month. I am confident because know I have the capabilities to win tournaments now. But having said that, I don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow. I hope I can play well again.

Tadahiro Takayama of Japan

Tadahiro Takayama of Japan

Tadahiro Takayama (Jpn) – Third Round 73 (+2), Total 201 (-12)

I couldn’t swing well today. My tee shots all went right. I think it started from the 12th hole. I hit a good tee shot on 13 but was unlucky. I started making three bogeys in a row there. It was really cold out there.

I hope it will not be as cold tomorrow. My back really hurts when the weather turns cold. Poom played well. I was trying to play well as well.

I hit the television tower on 17 and the ball came to rest in a bad lie. It was hard.

It was really tough out there. I think it’s because I am thinking too much about the stroke difference.

But having said that, I still have a chance as I am still tied for the lead. Saksansin played really won and he has won a tournament this year.

I feel that he has a very strong heart. It’s good to know him after today’s round. At least I know him and I can watch out him tomorrow.

Daisuke Kataoka of Japan

Daisuke Kataoka of Japan

Daisuke Kataoka (Jpn) – Third Round 66 (-5), Total 202 (-11)

I putted better today. I adjusted my putting after my round yesterday. I am feeling good about my shots. It’s not perfect yet but I made a lot of good putts. I am happy with my good Score today.

I realized I had an open face putter when I addressed to ball yesterday so I tried to make it square and align it straight. The ball started to roll smoothly today.

I wasn’t really looking at the leaderboards out there. There was a lot of stroke difference before today. I just tried to make lots of birdies and avoid making bogeys.

The pin positions were really difficult. I thought I managed it well, except for the tee shot on hole eight, all others were perfect.

I made really good putts to get four birdies on the back nine. I expect the pin positions to be more difficult tomorrow. The leaders will have difficulties. I have to play well and make birdies to win.

My putting is good now so I will just concentrate on the greens. Hopefully that will make it easier for me tomorrow.

Hung Chien-yao of Chinese Taipei

Hung Chien-yao of Chinese Taipei

Hung Chien-yao (Tpe) – Third Round 69 (-2), Total 205 (-8)

The course is getting more and more difficult by the day. The weather might be more cooling today and not as hot as the last two rounds but it was pretty windy out there and it’s coming from all directions. That’s what made it tough out there today.

The pin positions were pretty challenging too. I thought the last two days were difficult already. I made some mistakes which I shouldn’t have made today. I will try my best and avoid those mistakes tomorrow.

It’s been pretty consistent for me the last three rounds. The game’s feeling good. I am hitting the ball good too. I will just go out there again tomorrow and play my best. It’s just one more round to play but I am not thinking too much.

I just want to do my best and finish the week on a positive note. My game has improved a lot since the Queen’s Cup in June. I think I found a way of practicing that suits myself. I can feel it getting better so I just have to keep playing and I know the results will come.

Scores after round 3 of the Asia-Pacific Open Golf Championship Diamond Cup being played at the par 71, 7100 Yards Caledonian GC course (am – denotes amateur):

201 – Poom SAKSANSIN (THA) 68-66-67, Tadahiro TAKAYAMA (JPN) 62-66-73.

202 – Daisuke KATAOKA (JPN) 67-69-66.

205 – HUNG Chien-yao (TPE) 69-67-69, Shugo IMAHIRA (JPN) 67-67-71.

207 – I.J. JANG (KOR) 69-69-69, Matthew GRIFFIN (AUS) 69-68-70, Yujiro OHORI (JPN) 69-67-71, Younghan SONG (KOR) 66-70-71.

208 – Ben LEONG (MAS) 69-70-69, Yoshinori FUJIMOTO (JPN) 68-69-71, Jbe KRUGER (RSA) 66-68-74.

209 – David OH (USA) 68-73-68, Daisuke MARUYAMA (JPN) 68-73-68, Thanyakon KHRONGPHA (THA) 67-73-69, K.T. KIM (KOR) 64-75-70, Yosuke ASAJI (JPN) 67-72-70, Tatsuya KODAI (JPN) 70-68-71.

210 – Miguel TABUENA (PHI) 70-71-69, Ryuji MASAOKA (JPN) 65-73-72, Koichi KITAMURA (JPN) 71-67-72, Pavit TANGKAMOLPRASERT (THA) 65-71-74.

211 – Shota AKIYOSHI (JPN) 71-70-70, Michio MATSUMURA (JPN) 67-74-70, Johannes VEERMAN (USA) 71-69-71, Lucas HERBERT (AUS) 68-71-72, Sam CHIEN (USA) 68-71-72, Juvic PAGUNSAN (PHI) 68-70-73, Sungjae IM (KOR) 69-69-73.

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