Steady Pariya holds on to one-shot lead

Sat 22 Jun 2013

Steady Pariya holds on to one-shot lead

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Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia, June 22: Pariya Junhasavasdikul of Thailand hung on to his one-shot lead over Korea’s Baek Seuk-hyun after shooting a level par 71 in the third round of the Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters on Saturday.
The Thai, chasing a second Asian Tour victory, could have earned a bigger cushion but bogeyed his last hole at the challenging Seri Selangor Golf Club while close friend Baek also returned a 71 which included a costly triple bogey seven on his 16th hole.
Young Malaysian Gavin Green birdied his last hole for a 70 in third place, two back of Pariya, as he kept up his chase to become only the fourth amateur to win on the Asian Tour, which is celebrating its milestone 10th season this year.
A further stroke back at the RM1.2 million (approximately US$400,000) event was India’s Anirban Lahiri who used a superb outward 31 to sign for a 67 which kept him in the title frame as he seeks a fourth Asian Tour victory and his first outside of his country.
Without a top-10 this season, Pariya, who won the Mercuries Taiwan Masters in 2010, has been rock steady on the ultra-demanding Seri Selangor course which is running hard and fast.
220613 Pariya and Baek-04He made two birdies against just as many bogeys for a three-day total of eight-under-par 205 but left a bitter taste in the mouth after dropping shot on 18 after finding the greenside bunker.
“I didn’t do anything much. I didn’t take advantage of the par-fives. Having an even-par round is still okay as I didn’t lose any spots, so hopefully I can take advantage of the par fives tomorrow,” said Pariya, who has led the tournament since the first round.
“The conditions are getting tougher. The greens are getting firmer and they are rolling quicker. Some of the putts that look flat are rolling so fast it feels like it is going downhill. Tomorrow is going to be a big challenge.”
The 29-year-old Pariya knows he must stay on an even keel to hold off his challengers, in particular his regular playing partner Baek.
“I’m not thinking about winning but if I can handle myself and hit even or under-par, then I’ll be okay. It should be exciting but I’m trying not to be. Anxiety can get to you and you will get nervous and feel the pressure. I’m lucky to be with Baek again tomorrow so it will be nice walking 18 holes with him. Some days you go out and you feel a lot of pressure and some days you don’t. I hope I wake up without feeling any pressure,” he said.
The 22-year-old Baek grabbed the lead momentarily on the back nine after birdies on five, eight and 15 but dropped three shots on 16 after his tee shot ended up in a slope.
“I was really unlucky there. I hit a three wood just straight but it bounced high and ended up in the slope. I couldn’t get relief from the cart path. I tried to take it out and I thought it was good but the ball hit the edge of the cart path and came back. The bad thing just happened in one hole,” lamented the Thai-based Baek, who is currently sixth on the Order of Merit.WORLDWIDE SELANGOR MASTERS 2013
He believes he can still land a first Asian Tour victory at the Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters but needs to play “smarter” golf. “I calmed down, played smarter, clever golf. Just one bad hole. On this course, anything can happen. I still have a good chance tomorrow but I don’t want to think about being champion. I just want to play my game, enjoy my game especially when Pariya is my good friend,” said Baek.
Green, 19, overcame a poor start where he was three over through four holes but stayed in contention with an inward 32 which included a double bogey on 17. He rolled in a six-foot birdie on the last hole to ensure his place in the final group on Sunday.
“I didn’t get the best of starts. I kind of stayed patient and tried to push it a bit more on the back nine and made some birdies. I thought it was a good drive on 17 but just bad luck that it ended up in the slope. I’ve got to keep the same game plan again. If I have to go for it, I’ll do so on the back nine. But I’ll need a better start. Just need to stay patient throughout,” said Green.
India’s rising star Lahiri stormed to an outward 31 with five birdies but bogeys on 10 and 13 slowed down his charge. On Friday, he went out in 29 from the back nine and hopes to put the two halves together for a title shot.
“I think I have to combine my two back nines together because I played well on the back side and good on the front today,” said Lahiri, who won the SAIL-SBI Open in India earlier in the season.
“I’m happy that I’ve given myself a shouting chance. Three shots is not much on this golf course. Here, you can’t really think about what numbers to shoot. You have to go out there and execute every shot so well. If you start getting ahead of yourself then you are finished.”
Scores after round 3 of the Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters 2013 being played at the par 71, 6,927 Yards Seri Selangor Golf Club (a- denotes amateur):
205 - Pariya JUNHASAVASDIKUL (THA) 66-68-71.
206 - BAEK Seuk-hyun (KOR) 67-68-71.
207 - Gavin GREEN (am, MAS) 68-69-70.WORLDWIDE SELANGOR MASTERS 2013
208 - Anirban LAHIRI (IND) 73-68-67.
209 - Thanyakon KHRONGPHA (THA) 75-67-67.
210 - Wade ORMSBY (AUS) 68-70-72.
211 - Konosuke NAKAZATO (JPN) 71-73-67, Stephen LEWTON (ENG) 73-70-68, Peter RICHARDSON (ENG) 69-73-69, Anthony KANG (USA) 73-68-70.
212 - Sam CYR (USA) 70-74-68, Richard T. LEE (CAN) 71-72-69, Berry HENSON (USA) 74-68-70, Namchok TANTIPOKHAKUL (THA) 72-74-66, Marcus BOTH (AUS) 73-69-70, LU Wen-teh (TPE) 70-72-70.
About the Asian Tour
In 2013, the Asian Tour will celebrate a momentous milestone with its 10th season. 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 Abacus (Official Apparel Partner), BlackBerry (Official Communications Partner), Canon (Official Imaging Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Saxo Capital Markets (Official Statistics Partner), Singha Beer (Official Beer), Srixon (Official Ball), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Official Hotels and Resorts) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Also, visit us at www.asiantour.com, www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf, www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf, www.youtube.com/theasiantour and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf