ADT: Itthipat powers into lead at Sherwood Hills

Fri 24 Apr 2015

ADT: Itthipat powers into lead at Sherwood Hills

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Cavite, Philippines, April 24: Young talent Itthipat Buranatanyarat of Thailand put himself in prime position for a maiden Asian Development Tour (ADT) win after carding a two-under-par 70 in the penultimate round of the US$60,000 ICTSI Sherwood Hills Classic on Friday.
The 22-year-old Thai, who enjoyed a second-place finish on the ADT in Malaysia last month, fired four birdies against two bogeys for a three-day total of five-under-par 211 to lead by one shot at the Sherwood Hills Golf Club.
Filipino duo Cassius Casas and Orlan Sumcad took second place following rounds of 70 and 71 respectively while five other players including Order of Merit leader Hsieh Chi-hsien of Chinese Taipei, who signed for a 74, stayed three shots back in fourth on 215.
Overnight leader Frankie Minoza of the Philippines carded a disappointing 77 to slip to tied-ninth place with Australian Darren Tan and Thailand’s Chanat Sakulpolphaisan, who returned with identical 72s, at the ICTSI Sherwood Hills Classic, which is the second consecutive ADT event to be held in the Philippines this season.
Itthipat credited his solid iron-play which gave him an edge over the field as he bids for success on the ADT.
The young Thai capped a flawless front nine highlighted by three birdies but stumbled with two straight bogeys from the 11th hole before recovering swiftly with a birdie on the 13th.
“I’m very happy with how I played. I hit my second shots well. My iron-play was good and I kept hitting it close to the pin. It’s my first time leading on the ADT so I’m very excited about the final round tomorrow,” said Itthipat, who made headlines when he won his first professional event on home soil last August.
“It’s really challenging playing on the ADT. Finishing second in Malaysia last month gave me a lot of confidence and I felt that I can win. Pavit (Tangkamolprasert), last year’s Order of Merit champion, gave me a lot of good advices. He told me to treat it like I’m playing at home and like how I used to play as an amateur,” added Itthipat.
Should Itthipat win tomorrow, he will become the third player from Thailand, following Panuwat Muenlek and Phachara Khongwatmai, to triumph on the region’s burgeoning Tour this season.
Casas, who started the round with a three-shot deficit, proved that his best days are far from over when he hauled himself back into contention for a maiden ADT victory.
“My driving was good today. I putted well too, especially on the front nine. There are a lot of young boys playing out here and I’m not young anymore. It’s hard to challenge against them! I will stick to the same game plan and see how it goes tomorrow,” said the 48-year-old Filipino legend, who has won over 80 titles on the local circuit.
Sumcad is relishing his prospects for a breakthrough win heading into the final round.
“It was pretty tough out there because of the wind. I stick to my game throughout the round and I was just enjoying my game out there. I will keep it the same tomorrow and just have fun out there,” said the 49-year-old Filipino, who traded five birdies against four bogeys.
The winner of the ICTSI Sherwood Hills Classic will take home US$10,500 and receive six Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points.
The ICTSI Sherwood Hills Classic is one of the two tournaments title-sponsored by the International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) in the Philippines on the ADT schedule this season.
The ADT will reward the top-five finishers on the Order of Merit at the end of this season with Asian Tour cards for 2016.
With the Olympic Games looming in 2016 where golf will be reintroduced as a medal sport, players in the region could earn their spots in Rio de Janeiro by earning Official World Golf Ranking points through the Asian Tour and ADT.
For more information on the ADT, please visit www.asiandevelopmenttour.com
Leading third round scores
211 – Itthipat BURANATANYARAT (THA) 72-69-70
212 – Cassius CASAS (PHI) 71-71-70, Orlan SUMCAD (PHI) 70-71-71
215 – Arwed FISCHER (GER) 74-71-70, Casey O’TOOLE (USA) 76-70-69, Reynaldo PAGUNSAN (PHI) 71-75-69, Paul HARRIS (USA) 68-75-72, HSIEH Chi-hsien (TPE) 70-71-74
216 – Darren TAN (AUS) 71-73-72, Chanat SAKULPOLPHAISAN (THA) 72-72-72, Frankie MINOZA (PHI) 71-68-77
217 – Kevin MARQUES (AUS) 70-74-73, Josh SALAH (USA) 69-75-73, Elmer SALVADOR (PHI) 75-72-70
About the Asian Development Tour
The Asian Development Tour was launched in 2010 with the aim of creating a career pathway for professional golfers in Asia. Sanctioned by the Asian Tour, the Asian Development Tour will ultimately create a new playing platform for emerging stars from across Asia and around the world. Through the Asian Tour Qualifying School, players will qualify for the Asian Development Tour and enjoy the opportunity to hone their games and talent through a secondary circuit in Asia. Designed in the same structure as the Web.com Tour in America and European Challenge Tour, the Asian Development Tour is a stepping stone to the Asian Tour and the exciting world of international golf. The Asian Development Tour has been structured to ensure the best opportunities for its members. The leading five players on the Asian Development Tour will earn coveted Asian Tour cards for the following season, ensuring a proper career pathway for aspiring professionals. All ADT events receive Official World Golf Ranking points.