Aguilar Battles to Retain Lead at Enjoy Jakarta Astro Indonesia Open

Sat 16 Feb 2008

Aguilar Battles to Retain Lead at Enjoy Jakarta Astro Indonesia Open

Jakarta, February 16: Unheralded Felipe Aguilar of Chile knows that the battle for supremacy at the Enjoy Jakarta Astro Indonesia Open is far from over, even after battling to take the third round lead with a three-under par 67 on Saturday.
The 33-year old Chilean and a graduate of the Challenge Tour, got off to a shaky start when he bogeyed his opening hole but held on to his nerves to reel in two birdies and an eagle to finish on a three day total of 16-under par 194.
Asian Tour?s leading stalwarts Liang Wen-chong and Jeev Milkha Singh, both posted matching 196s to share second position, igniting the stage for what is set to be an exciting showdown when the US$1.2 million co-sanctioned event by the Asian Tour and the European Tour heads into the final round on Sunday.
Thailand?s Prom Meesawat, who finished seventh on the Asian Tour?s Order of Merit and registered six top-10s last season, closed with two straight birdies for a 197 to share fourth place with South Africa?s James Kamte, who had earlier been the first round leader.

Asian Tour?s Wang Ter-chang of Chinese Taipei, Thailand?s Prayad Marksaeng and New Zealand?s Mark Brown are all bunched together with unheralded Joost Luiten of The Netherlands on 199 in sixth place.

Aguilar, a graduate of the Challenge Tour was hoping for a better putting performance after his second round yesterday. And the 32-year old got his wish today when he sank two birdies and an eagle on the 9th hole to set himself up for a chance for his first title win of the year.

?I think that was the longest putt that I have had all week. It feels pretty good going into tomorrow,? said Aguilar who had reeled in that magical eagle from 25 foot.

?It feels pretty good going into tomorrow, but you never know if you?re going to win until the last putt drops. We?ll find out tomorrow when the fat lady sings!? added Aguilar, who was watched from the marquee tents by the President of Indonesia, Dr. H. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

India?s Singh started his round cautiously with four straight pars, but got his game back on track, beginning with a birdie on the fifth hole.
?The birdie on the fifth hole got my game under control. I had another chance on the sixth that I didn?t  manage to convert but stayed patient and had a good run of birdies on the seventh, eighth and ninth,? said Singh, Asian Tour 2006 Order of Merit winner.

?I hit a few errant shots on the back nine but came home strong with a great birdie on the 15th and then on the 18th ,? added Singh who reeled in a total of six birdies against a lone bogey at the Cengkareng Golf Club.

After a disappointing front nine, Liang set himself up for a titanic finish, closing in 33 after the turn to take a share of the second position with Singh.

?I?m ready to mount a strong challenge tomorrow. I?ll try my best ? anything can happen in this game so we are just going to have to wait and see what happens,? said the Asian Tour Number One.

Thailand?s Prom Meesawat, who finished seventh on the Asian Tour?s Order of Merit and registered six top-10s last season, kept pace with the leaders by closing with two consecutive birdies to stay three strokes off the lead.

?It was a pretty tough day for me today. I started with a bogey but got back strongly on the back nine including those two birdies on the last two holes,? said the burly young Thai.

?I?m two-under par today so I?m still in for a chance tomorrow.?

Denny Suprapto of Indonesia leads the Indonesian charge, heading into the final round by taking a share of 46th place on 206.

Leading Third Round Scores

194 - Felipe Aguilar (CHI) 65-62-67

196 - Liang Wen-chong (CHN) 65-67-64, Jeev Milkha Singh (IND) 65-66-65

197 - Prom Meesawat (THA) 66-63-68, James Kamte (RSA) 62-67-68

199 - Mark Bro (NZL) 67-66-66, Joost Luiten (NLD) 64-69-66, Wang Ter-chang (TPE) 69-64-66, Prayad Marksaeng (THA) 65-65-69

200 - Philip Golding (ENG) 65-70-65, Arjun Atwal (IND) 67-67-66, Adam Blyth (AUS) 66-67-67, Martin Wiegele (AUT) 65-65-70

201 - Chapchai Nirat (THA) 69-66-66, Thaworn Wiratchant (THA) 67-67-67,Chinnarat Phadungsil (THA) 69-64-68

Selected Scores

203 - Paul Mcginley (IRL) 68-69-66

204 - Jyoti Randhawa (IND) 68-70-66

205 - Gaurav Ghei (IND) 71-67-67, Shiv Kapur (IND) 69-67-69, Darren Clarke (NIR) 68-67-70, Mikko Ilonen (FIN) 66-68-71

206 - Suprapto [A] (INA) 67-71-68


About the Asian Tour

As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia.  This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include Sofitel (Official Hotel), Srixon (Official Ball), Pin High (Official Apparel Partner) and ESPN Star Sports (Official Regional TV Broadcaster). Sentosa, Singapore?s premier island resort getaway, is the Home of the Asian Tour.

For further information, please contact Asian Tour?s Calvin Koh at the Enjoy Jakarta Astro Indonesia Open media centre at +62 21 5695 6657.