Kiradech Leads by Two

Fri 07 Aug 2009

Kiradech Leads by Two


Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, August 7: Asian Tour rookie Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand opened up a two-shot lead after the third round at the Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters to give himself a chance of a maiden title on Friday.

The former world junior amateur champion broke clear from the chasing pack following a two-under-par 69 at the Seri Selangor Golf Club for a three-day total of nine-under-par 204.

Malaysia's S. Siva Chandhran also battled to a 69 to lie in second place as he kept up his dream of winning on his home course at the RM1 million (US$300,000) Asian Tour event.

Five golfers - Kodai Ichihara of Japan, Simon Griffiths of England, Malaysian Shaaban Hussin, joint overnight leader Noh Seung-yul of Korea and South African James Kamte - are tied third on 208, four off the pace.

The 20-year-old Kiradech, whose burly physique and aggressive style of play is a shade of American star John Daly, made a big par save from six feet on the 18th green to give himself a cushion into tomorrow's final round.

"I do not like to play it safe so tomorrow I am going all out and will try to do what I did in the first three rounds. The local player (Siva Chandhran) knows the course more than I do and he has an advantage. But my irons and putter are working well and I am aiming and feel confident of winning," said Kiradech.

Tied for the overnight lead with Noh, Kiradech surged into a three-stroke lead at the turn, courtesy of an eagle and two birdies, but suffered a bogey on the par five 13th hole when an errant drive found the water hazard. He then got himself into trouble again at the greenside bunker on the challenging 18th hole, which he double bogeyed in the second round but held his nerve to hole his par putt.


"I'm happy that I managed to make a lot of saves, especially on the back nine. On the 18th hole, I hit a three wood off the tee but still pushed it to the right (into the rough) but I managed to save par. I'll aim more left tomorrow," said the Thai.

Siva Chandhran, a touring professional for Seri Selangor, is also chasing his first title on the Asian Tour and he will be banking on his home advantage to guide him to success. "There is pressure but if I can pull off a win, it'll be a win for everyone, especially the club. They've always wanted a local boy to win this tournament," said Siva Chandhran, who posted four birdies against two bogeys.


The slightly built Malaysian was disappointed to not end the day closer to the leader after dropping a bogey on his last hole where he had to wait for the group in front due to a ruling. "I like to play quick but on the last hole, we waited and the body warmed down. I topped my second shot and it flew like just a few feet above ground!" added Siva Chandhran.


Close friend and compatriot Shaaban, also the club's touring professional, slipped back with a 72 after struggling on the greens but remained optimistic. "I can't turn back time but tomorrow will be a different day. In golf anything can happen and there are still 18 more holes to play and four strokes are not too far back," he said.

Kamte, winner of the season-opening Asian Tour International in Bangkok, also rued a bad putting round, missing makeable chances from close range, including from four feet at the last hole.

"If you want to win golf tournaments, you have to make two foot putts. I just missed two or three putts and then missed a four footer on the last. I am just putting badly. I've just got to start holing them if I want to win tomorrow," said Kamte, who headed straight to the practice green after his round.


Leading third round scores

204 - Kiradech Aphibarnrat (THA) 65-70-69

206 - S. Siva Chandhran (MAS) 69-68-69

208 - Kodai Ichihara (JPN) 71-69-68, Simon Griffiths (ENG) 70-70-68, Shaaban Hussin (MAS) 67-69-72, Noh Seung-yul (KOR) 67-68-73, James Kamte (RSA) 66-70-72

209 - Jbe Kruger (RSA) 67-73-69, Scott Hend (AUS) 69-71-69, Mark Purser (NZL) 69-71-69, Son Joon-eob (KOR) 73-66-70, Mitchell Brown (AUS) 68-69-72

210 - Bryan Saltus (USA) 73-69-68, Rick Kulacz (AUS) 68-71-71, Andrew Dodt (AUS) 69-70-71, Bae Sang-moon (KOR) 69-69-72, Guido Van Der Valk (NED) 73-65-72, Gaurav Ghei (IND) 71-67-72, Lu Chien-soon (TPE) 71-66-73


For further information, please contact Asian Tour's Chuah Choo Chiang or Doyle De Costa at the media centre tel: +603 7805 7710. Also visit for Live Scoring starting on Wednesday.

About the Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters 2009

The Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters will be staged at Seri Selangor Golf Club from August 5 to 8, 2009 and offer RM1 million (US$300,000) in total prize money. The event, which made its Asian Tour debut last year, is title sponsored by Worldwide Holdings Berhad while other sponsors include Permodalan Negeri Selangor Berhad, CIMB Group, Majlis Bandaraya Shah Alam, Majlis Perbandaran Sepang and Majlis Perbandaran Selayang. The event is also supported by Srixon, 100Plus and Ricoh.


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