Fighting Lin leads Garcia and Norris #HoTramOpen

Sat 05 Dec 2015

Fighting Lin leads Garcia and Norris #HoTramOpen

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Ho Tram, Vietnam, December 5: Chinese Taipei’s Lin Wen-tang overcame an early wobble to post a three-under-par 68 and a two-shot lead over Spaniard Sergio Garcia and Shaun Norris of South Africa after the third round of the US$1.5 million Ho Tram Open on Saturday.
The 41-year-old Lin dropped a bogey and double bogey in his opening four holes at The Bluffs Ho Tram Strip before fighting back with six birdies for a three-day total of 13-under-par 200 total in the inaugural Asian Tour tournament.
World number 12 Garcia endured a topsy-turvy day as well en route to a 68 which kept him in the chase for a first title of the year alongside Norris, who charged into contention with a 65 in Vietnam’s richest sporting event, dubbed Asia’s Grandest Stage.
Lin Wen-tang of Chinese Taipei Lin Wen-tang of Chinese Taipei
Thai veteran star Thaworn Wiratchant, bidding for a record 19th Asian Tour victory, carded a 68 to lie three back alongside a resurgent Indian Himmat Rai, who also carded a 68. American Paul Peterson (68) will start the final round four shots back of the leader.
Six-time winner Lin said he was nervous playing alongside Garcia in the final group before recovering his composure with some fantastic iron play. “I played with the star players, so I felt a bit scared. My caddy told me to calm down and I recovered nicely.
“After that I didn’t hit a single bogey and on the 17th hole, I had a 25-foot birdie. I was like ‘wow, I’m so lucky’. After being three over, I said, let’s do this. No time to be scared anymore.
“Sergio hits the ball so long and he is such a nice guy. Every time I make a birdie, he will tell me ‘good birdie Lin’. I haven’t won in two years but my wife told me not to think ahead. I just want to enjoy the final round tomorrow. If the win comes then good, if not, I’ll try again next time.”
Ryder Cup star Garcia, who returned early in the morning to complete his weather-disrupted second round in 68, dropped a double bogey on six after finding bushes with his drive and then dropped a closing bogey with an errant drive. But six birdies on the card ensured he remained within striking reach.
“I was bruised by one bad drive. On six, I hit it exactly where I wanted but the wind was coming in from the right and I hit a cut and the ball didn’t move. The one on 18 wasn’t a good drive. Overall I felt like I played quite well other than those two holes. Made some good putts on the back nine, missed some short ones for birdies too but I guess even with those hiccups, I still have a chance,” said the 35-year-old, who holds 22 Tour wins around the world.
Shaun_Norris of South Africa Shaun_Norris of South Africa
With fianceé Candice Venter caddying, Norris, who won his maiden Asian Tour title in Taipei in October, wielded a hot putter to earn a final two-ball pairing with leader Lin on Sunday.
“I was putting very well and I kept giving myself birdie chances. You definitely need a lot of imagination to try and play in the wind. You need to think your way around the course but I enjoy courses that are tricky. It is like playing a game of chess,” said Norris, who uses the broomhandle putter which will be prohibited from 2016 onwards.
Thaworn, who will turn 49 later this month, finished strongly with three birdies coming home. Wearing a yellow shirt to mark the king of Thailand’s birthday, the unorthodox swinging veteran was happy to lurk behind the leaders.
“Play under par, I’m happy. Every hole was good except hole number two where I hit it into the hazard (for double bogey). This week, I’m hitting every club good, driver, three wood, all good. The wind makes it hard (on the putting),” he said.
Since opening in October 2014, the links-style layout located two hours southeast of Ho Chi Minh City has been hailed by many of the world’s leading authorities on golf. In January, GOLF Magazine named it one of the world’s best new courses. In July, the Australian Financial Review called it “as pretty a course as you’ll find on the entire Asian continent. Last month it was named the World’s Best New Course at the World Golf Awards ceremony in Portugal.
Himmat Rai of India Himmat Rai of India
For more information about the Ho Tram Open including player bios and sponsorship options, visit www.hotramopen.com.
Scores after round 3 of the Ho Tram Open being played at the par 71, 6,797 Yards The Bluffs Ho Tram Strip course (am - denotes amateur):
200 - LIN Wen-tang (TPE) 65-67-68.
202 - Shaun NORRIS (RSA) 66-71-65, Sergio GARCIA (ESP) 66-68-68.
203 - Thaworn WIRATCHANT (THA) 64-71-68, Himmat RAI (IND) 66-69-68.
204 - Paul PETERSON (USA) 66-70-68.
206 - Geoff OGILVY (AUS) 69-70-67, Charlie WI (KOR) 62-72-72.
207 - Sunghoon KANG (KOR) 72-68-67, Thomas BJORN (DEN) 69-70-68, KOH Deng Shan (SIN) 67-71-69, Terry PILKADARIS (AUS) 71-67-69, Nicholas FUNG (MAS) 65-70-72, Chawalit PLAPHOL (THA) 68-67-72.
About Asian Coast Development (Canada) Ltd
Asian Coast Development (Canada) Ltd. (ACDL) is an international development company specializing in integrated resort destinations. ACDL, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Ho Tram Project Company Ltd, is the developer of the Ho Tram Strip, a group of integrated resorts and residential development located on more than 400 acres of land with more than two kilometers of pristine beach in Ho Tram, Vietnam and an approved Investment Certificate issued by the Government of Vietnam. With a focus on providing a personalized blend of excitement and relaxation, the Ho Tram Strip will feature something for everyone, from lavish entertainment to premium shopping and exceptional recreational facilities.
Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand
The first phase of its development – The Grand Ho Tram Strip – opened its doors in 2013 and includes a 541 room five-star hotel, a world-class entertainment facility, restaurants, high-tech meeting space, an exclusive VIP area, three swimming pools, as well as a variety of beach-front recreation activities. The Ho Tram Strip is one of the region’s largest integrated resort projects with major future development phases including an additional 559 rooms and further leisure amenities that will complete The Grand Ho Tram Strip.  Adjacent to The Grand, the 18 hole Greg Norman designed Championship golf course – The Bluffs – opened for play in early 2014.  Future developments at the site will include a residential offering, a second integrated resort similar in size and scale to The Grand, and three additional five star resorts.
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 FENIX Golf (Official Apparel Supplier), Fuji Xerox (Official Office Solutions Partner), Hilton Worldwide (Official Hotel Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Sponsor), Oakley (Official Eyewear and Footwear Sponsor), Srixon (Official Ball), Titleist (Official Web Partner) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). Sentosa, Singapore is the Home of the Asian Tour which also has an office in Kuala Lumpur. Also, visit us at www.asiantour.com, www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf,www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf, www.youtube.com/theasiantour