Fab Five Tied in Bangkok

Sat 20 Dec 2008

Fab Five Tied in Bangkok


Bangkok, December 20: The season-ending Volvo Masters of Asia was left hanging by a sword's edge after the third round ended with five players tied for the lead on Saturday.


Overnight leader Lam Chih Bing of Singapore battled to a even par 72 at Thai Country Club and was joined atop the leaderboard on nine-under-par 207 by David Gleeson of Australia, who equalled the course record 63, compatriot Marcus Both (70) and Thai duo Chapchai Nirat (70) and Chawalit Plaphol (69).

Antonio Lascuna of the Philippines was a further shot back while nine other players, including defending champion Prayad Marksaeng of Thailand, are within four shots of the co-leaders to ensure a thrilling finish to the Asian Tour season.

Lam, who led by two strokes after the third round, posted four birdies against as many bogeys as he failed to pull clear of the chasing pack in the US$750,000 event.

The 31-year-old was still pleased to stay in the hunt for his maiden Asian Tour victory. "I kind of struggled towards the middle of the round. I was cruising really nicely and on the eighth hole, I found myself in a divot (and made bogey) and that kind of took the steam out of my game. But I managed to hang on and I'm quite happy to be where I am right now," said Lam, who is making his Volvo Masters of Asia debut.


Lam, who finished second in Cambodia last week, got to two under for the round before dropping three shots over a four-hole run but battled back with two more birdies against another dropped shot on the par three 16th hole after finding the greenside trap.

"I used to get down on myself but today, I made sure I stayed positive. I knew that if I stayed patient, the birdies would come. I'm excited. It's going to be a really good round tomorrow. Hopefully I can make more birdies than anyone else."

Gleeson equalled the 11-year-old course record held by Canadian Jim Rutledge, thanks to a mind-blowing outward 29 which included an opening bogey and two eagles.

With a 59 at the back of his mind, he inadvertently took his foot off the gas with a bogey on 13 but finished strongly with three more birdies over his closing five holes to shoot into contention.

"It was good fun. I played pretty good the other two days but made silly scoring mistakes. After the first hole, I thought 'here we go again'. At the start of the day, I didn't think I would have a chance for tomorrow," said Gleeson.


"Now that I've done the hard part, I've got to get another good round in tomorrow," said Gleeson, who won the Macau Open and posted top-10s at the Barclays Singapore Open and UBS Hong Kong Open recently.

Big-hitting Chapchai produced three birdies against a lone bogey as he moved into contention at the Volvo Masters of Asia, which has been won previously by compatriots Thongchai Jaidee and Prayad.

Chapchai, a two-time winner in Asia, said: "It's great to be in the joint lead but I didn't play that well because I kept hitting my driver left. I had a chance to win the Barclays Singapore Open but I was very tired after a long stretch of tournaments. In that event I tried to play carefully on the last day but that is not my style. I am an aggressive player and will play more like that in the final round."


In-form Chawalit, who has finished fourth, sixth and third over his last three events, was disappointed that he bogeyed his closing hole, the same as playing partner Both. But he has good vibes heading into tomorrow's final day.

"I feel like I am due a win, and this week will be my last chance this year. I don't want to miss this opportunity," said the Thai.

There was a sense of déjà vu for Both, who was also tied for the third round lead in 2005 before finishing third. After moving to four under for the round, the tall Aussie dropped two bogeys over his last three holes, including a three-putt bogey on 18.


"I made a couple of mistakes. I wasted three shots over the last couple of holes from just around the greens. It's still close, I get to live to fight another day tomorrow," said Both.

Chinese Taipei's Lin Wen-tang, who needs a good finish to improve his 51st place on the world rankings to move into the top-50 and earn a US Masters ticket, carded a 72 for tied eight place, three off the lead.

Prayad will enter the last round four shots back after a 72 while India's Jeev Milkha Singh, who has won the Order of Merit title, shot his second straight 70 to move into 32nd place alongside two-time Volvo Masters of Asia champion Thongchai, who carded a 69.

Leading third round scores

207 - David Gleeson (AUS) 72-72-63, Marcus Both (AUS) 69-68-70, Chawalit Plaphol (THA) 71-67-69, Lam Chih Bing (SIN) 69-66-72, Chapchai Nirat (THA) 71-66-70

208 - Antonio Lascuna (PHI) 70-67-71

209 - Rick Kulacz (AUS) 72-69-68

210 - Adam Blyth (AUS) 68-72-70, Lin Wen-tang (TPE) 68-70-72

211 - Shiv Kapur (IND) 71-73-67, Mo Joong-kyung (KOR) 73-71-67, Terry Pilkadaris (AUS) 71-72-68, Simon Griffiths (ENG) 72-68-71, Prayad Marksaeng (THA) 74-65-72, Mitchell Brown (AUS) 70-67-74

212 - Bae Sang-moon (KOR) 74-72-66, Tony Carolan (AUS) 69-75-68, Chinnarat Phadungsil (THA) 72-72-68, Jyoti Randhawa (IND) 73-70-69

For further information, please contact Asian Tour's Chuah Choo Chiang at tel:  +6.... Also visit www.asiantour.com for live scoring.

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 Carlsberg (Official Beer), ESPN Star Sports (Official Regional TV Broadcaster), Pin High (Official Apparel Partner), Ricoh (Official Office Solutions Provider), Sofitel (Official Hotel), TIME and FORTUNE (Corporate Partner) and Srixon (Official Ball). Sentosa, Singapore's premier island resort getaway, is the Home of the Asian Tour.