Yangon, January 27: France’s Lionel Weber enjoyed a flawless third round five-under-par 66 to top the leaderboard at the Leopalace21 Myanmar Open on Saturday.
The 27-year-old Frenchman was in his elements as he tamed the challenging greens at the Pun Hlaing Golf Club with his three-day total of 10-under-par 203 to take a slender shot lead over Japan’s Yusaku Miyazato.
Miyazato, who played in the final group last year, will head into his final 18 holes in the same group again as he aims to break into the world’s top-50 with a strong finish at the US$750,000 event sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour Organisation (JGTO).
Thailand’s Suradit Yongcharoenchai, nicknamed ‘Art’ painted a rosy picture of his title ambitions as he signed for a 68 to stay two shots back of Weber in tied-third place with overnight co-leader Paul Peterson of the United States and Japan’s Masahiro Kawamura.
India’s Arjun Atwal stayed in the mix with a 68 that placed him in a share of sixth place that also includes 2016 Leopalace21 Myanmar Open champion Shaun Norris of South Africa.
Did you know?
- Lionel Weber graduated from the Asian Tour Qualifying School in 2013. He finished in 55th place at the Leopalace21 Myanmar Open last year.
- Weber’s best result and sole top-10 result in 2017 was a tied-sixth finish in Indonesia.
- The Frenchman ended his 2017 season in 56th place on the Asian Tour Order of Merit.
- Yusaki Miyazato held the lead for two days at the Leopalace21 Myanmar Open last year. He played in the final group but eventually finished tied-sixth.
- Miyazato topped the money list on the JGTO with his four victories last year.
- He is currently ranked 54 in the world.
- Suradit Yongcharoenchai had two top-10s in 2017 on the Asian Tour.
- The Thai missed the cut at the Leopalace21 Myanmar Open last year.
- Arjun Atwal captained Team Asia at the recent EurAsia Cup. His team led for two days but lost after being outplayed in the Singles matches.
- Atwal won the Asian Tour Order of Merit in 2003 and also made history by becoming the first Indian golfer to win on the US PGA Tour in 2010.
- Atwal’s last win on the Asian Tour came in Dubai in 2014.
I’m not scared of anyone and I just want to play a good round of golf tomorrow and we’ll see what happens. – Lionel Weber
Lionel Weber (Fra) Third round Five-under-par 66, Total (-10) 203
It has been a long time since I’ve been in this position. I didn’t play well last year and I only had one top-10 so it feels good to be back in this position. I was really focused on my game today and I got the right technique to do that. I’m not scared of anyone and I just want to play a good round of golf tomorrow and we’ll see what happens. It feels good to know I had a bogey-free round. I had a lucky bounce on one hole which could have gone into the water. I feel I can strike the ball better today but I had a very good course management.
Yusaku Miyazato (Jpn) Third round Three-under-par 68, Total (-9) 204
My putting was terrible today but I’m happy I managed to return with a bogey-free round. I don’t plan to change any aspect of my game and will stick to what I’ve been doing the last three days. I tried to stay positive when I was not making any birdies after the first hole and maintained my tempo. It was good when I managed to finish with two birdies on 17 and 18. There are a lot of Japanese people here in Myanmar and hopefully I can make them happy with a win tomorrow.
Suradit Yongcharoenchai (Tha) Third round Three-under-par 68, Total (-8) 205
I started off really well with an opening birdie and continued that momentum with those three birdies on holes seven, eight and nine. I think I’ll be feeling a little nervous tomorrow but I hope to play my own game and not think too much. I hope I can handle the pressure tomorrow.
Arjun Atwal (Ind) Third round Three-under-par 68, Total (-7) 206
The greens were pretty tough to putt on today but nevertheless I’m pleased with how I played today. The EurAsia Cup captaincy was a good experience but I still like playing and being in control of the situation as a player. I like the laid-back attitude here in Myanmar and I love the golf course here. I want to win tomorrow as my goal has always been to win.
Leading Scores after round 3 of the LeoPalace21 Myanmar Open 2018 being played at the par 71, 7103 Yards Pun Hliang GC course (am – denotes amateur):
203 – Lionel WEBER (FRA) 68-69-66.
204 – Yusaku MIYAZATO (JPN) 71-65-68.
205 – Suradit YONGCHAROENCHAI (THA) 70-67-68, Masahiro KAWAMURA (JPN) 67-68-70, Paul PETERSON (USA) 68-66-71.
206 – Arjun ATWAL (IND) 70-68-68, Shaun NORRIS (RSA) 67-70-69, Tomoyo IKEMURA (JPN) 71-66-69, Rattanon WANNASRICHAN (THA) 65-69-72.
207 – Toru NAKAJIMA (JPN) 69-68-70, Micah Lauren SHIN (USA) 69-66-72.
208 – Arnond VONGVANIJ (THA) 71-70-67, Rikuya HOSHINO (JPN) 68-70-70, Gaganjeet BHULLAR (IND) 70-72-66.
209 – Mikumu HORIKAWA (JPN) 68-71-70, Narutoshi YAMAOKA (JPN) 70-71-68, Casey O’TOOLE (USA) 68-69-72.
210 – Ajeetesh SANDHU (IND) 70-70-70, Poom SAKSANSIN (THA) 68-71-71, Berry HENSON (USA) 68-71-71, Masashi HIDAKA (JPN) 70-69-71, Tatsuya KODAI (JPN) 69-70-71, Toshinori MUTO (JPN) 71-67-72, Shugo IMAHIRA (JPN) 70-68-72, Miguel TABUENA (PHI) 69-69-72, Prom MEESAWAT (THA) 69-69-72, Satoshi KODAIRA (JPN) 69-69-72, Junwon PARK (KOR) 68-67-75.
Founded in 1973, Leopalace21 is a real estate company which constructs and rents apartments, currently managing 560 thousand rooms in Japan. The company also owns and operates a 36-hole golf course and resort facility in Guam, as well as 15 overseas offices which introduce residences and offices to Japanese companies advancing into the ASEAN region.
Leopalace21 Corporation: http://eg.leopalace21.com/
Leopalace Resort Guam: http://www.guam.ne.jp/
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