Smith survives wild day for Selangor lead

Sat 20 Sep 2014

Smith survives wild day for Selangor lead


Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia, September 20: Australian newcomer Cameron Smith snatched a one-shot lead from Thai duo Chapchai Nirat and Sattaya Supupramai after a bruising third round at the Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters on Saturday.

Smith, the 2013 Australian Amateur Champion, battled to an even par 71 which included three bogeys over his closing four holes at a demanding Seri Selangor Golf Club to put himself in position for a maiden Asian Tour victory.

Big-hitting Chapchai, a three-time winner but not since 2009, shot a 69 while Sattaya moved into contention with a 68 which included six birdies and two dropped shots over his last three holes at the RM1.3 million (approximately US$410,000) event.

Chapchai Nirat of Thailand Chapchai Nirat of Thailand

Current Order of Merit leader David Lipsky of the United States kept himself in the hunt for a second title in three weeks with a battling 69 which left him two back alongside Australian Jake Higginbottom and Chinese Taipei’s Hung Chien-yao.

An ailing overnight leader Anirban Lahiri of India struggled to a 76 which included two closing double bogeys and ended a tough day three shots behind Smith.

The 21-year-old Smith led into the final round of the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters in April before settling for tied second place behind Lahiri. The Aussie is determined to go one better at the Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters.

“I’ve been in this position a couple of times now. Hopefully I can close the deal. I need to stay patient and stick to my game plan. With a bit of luck, hopefully I can win,” said Smith, who has a three-day aggregate of eight-under-par 205.

Two back at the start of the day, Smith looked menacing, holing a birdie on 11 and another 25-foot eagle on 13 to surge ahead of the pack. He three putted the 15th hole for bogey and errant shots on 16 and 18 led to further shots.

“I played pretty good but it was a disappointing finish. That’s golf. It was pretty tough out there and I didn’t putt that well ... no one to blame except myself. I’m going to relax and do some putting in my room,” he said.

The 30-year-old Sattaya hopes to build on his recent victory on the Asian Development Tour as he searches for a career breakthrough. “I’ve won on the ADT and I’ve gained confidence from there. Playing on the Asian Tour is slightly different because there are so many good players,” he said.

Sattaya Supupramai of Thailand Sattaya Supupramai of Thailand

He charged into contention with a wonderful run of six birdies over 12 holes but gave away bogeys on 16 and 17 in swirling conditions. “It was very windy on the back nine. I believe in my game. Last time, I was a very impatient golfer but now I’ve grown up,” said Sattaya.

Chapchai’s last victory on the Asian Tour was achieved with a world scoring record of 32-under-par 256 some five years ago but the powerful Thai will be happy to simply secure a fourth career victory. “I’m very hungry for a win. I have no pressure even though I haven’t won for a long time. If I can birdie the par fives and shoot a four-under or lower, then I think I can win,” he said.

Lipsky came from three back to win the Omega European Masters in a play-off two weeks ago and he will need to overcome a two-shot deficit tomorrow if he is to secure another victory. “It’s so tough to make putts on these greens. I played decently solid and put myself into position for tomorrow. That’s all I can ask for,” he said.

Lahiri, who came down with a stomach bug, staggered home with two birdies against three bogeys and two double bogeys. “I was cramping up in my stomach as I had an issue with my gut. Every time I started my downswing, I would cramp up,” said the Indian, who finished runner-up here last season.

“I took some medication before the round but at the seventh, it got too much and I had to go (to the toilet). Every 20 to 30 minutes, I kept getting spasm. It was tough. But having said all that, I should have done better than I did. I’m still only three back though. I have to play as I did in the first day and try to get into the zone and make as many birdies as I can (tomorrow).”

Aniban Lahiri of India Aniban Lahiri of India

Scores after round 3 of the Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters 2014 being played at the par 71, 6,955 Yards Seri Selangor Golf Club (a- denotes amateur):

205 - Cameron SMITH (AUS) 68-66-71.

206 - Sattaya SUPUPRAMAI (THA) 68-70-68, Chapchai NIRAT (THA) 68-69-69.

207 - HUNG Chien-yao (TPE) 67-73-67, David LIPSKY (USA) 72-66-69, Jake HIGGINBOTTOM (AUS) 72-65-70.

208 - Anirban LAHIRI (IND) 64-68-76.

209 - Kieran PRATT (AUS) 69-72-68, S.S.P CHOWRASIA (IND) 66-70-73.

210 - Ryan YIP (CAN) 71-70-69, Jazz JANEWATTANANOND (THA) 70-70-70, Lionel WEBER (FRA) 70-70-70, KIM Gi-whan (KOR) 73-66-71, Simon GRIFFITHS (ENG) 70-68-72.

211 - Adam GROOM (AUS) 68-75-68, Paul PETERSON (USA) 69-71-71, Antonio LASCUNA (PHI) 70-70-71, Carlos PIGEM (ESP) 71-68-72, Scott BARR (AUS) 70-69-72

About the Asian Tour

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