Tani soars into outright lead #QueensCup

Sat 20 Jun 2015

Tani soars into outright lead #QueensCup

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Koh Samui, Thailand, June 20: Akinori Tani put himself in prime position for a breakthrough victory when he charged into a three-shot lead after signing for a sensational seven-under-par 64 in the penultimate round of the Queen’s Cup on Saturday.
Anikori Tani of Japan Anikori Tani of Japan
Tani, who started the round with a four-shot deficit, kept his cool in the heat of battle to return with a flawless round highlighted by seven birdies and a three-day total of 11-under-par 202 at the Santiburi Samui Country Club.
Overnight leader Prayad Marksaeng of Thailand slipped to second place after carding for a 71 while Bangladeshi Siddikur Rahman marked his best efforts so far this week with a 67 to take third place on 206 total at the US$300,000 Asian Tour event.
A host of six players, including India’s S.S.P Chawrasia (67), Mithun Perera of Sri Lanka (68), Thai duo Piya Swangarunporn (67) and Thanyakon Khrongpha (68), stayed a further shot back in fourth place at the prestigious Queen’s Cup, staged in honour of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit.
Tani, who returned in the morning to complete his remaining two holes from his previous round, showed poise and control for a bogey-free outing.
“I stuck to my game plan out there. I came back to finish my second round in the morning but the course was still wet and I closed with a bogey on the ninth. Although it wasn’t a good finish, I told myself to stay positive and I did that when I head into the third round,” said Tani, who is a half-Taiwanese.
The two-time winner in Japan won the 2013 Asian Tour Qualifying School but is still in search for a maiden win on the region’s premier Tour.
Prayad Marksaeng of Thailand Prayad Marksaeng of Thailand
“I missed a couple of shots for birdies out there but overall, I cannot complain. I am very pleased with how I played. It’s not going to be easy tomorrow with so many good players like Prayad chasing me. I just hope I can continue to keep the bogeys away tomorrow,” added the 40-year-old Japanese.
Should Tani win tomorrow, he will become the second Japanese and foreigner, following Tetsuji Hiratsuka in 2010, to win the Queen’s Cup title since it was inaugurated in 2009.
Despite falling off the lead, Prayad kept his head high and is determined to put up a strong charge when he heads into the all-important final round tomorrow.
“Actually, I would prefer to be the chaser rather than the leader. Today just didn’t go as I planned. I got up too early to prepare and didn’t expected to start the round so late due to the delay of second round resumption in the morning,” said the 49-year-old Thai, who won the Queen’s Cup in 2013.
“I am still happy to shoot a 71 today. I didn’t putt as well as I did yesterday but overall, it was still good. I am still in a good position and I am confident that I can close up the gap and pip Tani to the title tomorrow,” added Prayad, who mixed his card with two birdies against two bogeys.
Siddikur Rahman of Bangladesh Siddikur Rahman of Bangladesh
Two-time Asian Tour winner Siddikur, who has finished inside top-10 on four occasions in previous editions of the Queen’s Cup, wants to keep his expectations low.
“I played well and I made six birdies again which is great. Like I said earlier, I am still on the road to recovery from my back injury so I don’t want to play with any expectations. I just want to play my own game and enjoy myself out there. I will be happy if I can cap another top-10 finish this year,” said the 30-year-old Siddikur, who traded six birdies against two bogeys.
Scores after round 3 of the Queen's Cup Samui Golf Tournament 2015 being played at the par 71, 6814 Yards Santiburi GCC course (am - denotes amateur):
202 - Akinori TANI (JPN) 68-70-64.
205 - Prayad MARKSAENG (THA) 69-65-71.
206 - Siddikur RAHMAN (BAN) 69-70-67.
207 - Piya SWANGARUNPORN (THA) 74-66-67, S.S.P. CHAWRASIA (IND) 73-67-67, Mithun PERERA (SRI) 67-72-68, Thanyakon KHRONGPHA (THA) 74-65-68, Atthaphon SRIBOONKAEW (THA) 66-71-70, Richard T. LEE (CAN) 69-67-71.
208 - Jazz JANEWATTANANOND (THA) 69-72-67.
209 - Phachara KHONGWATMAI (THA) 74-68-67, Paul PETERSON (USA) 69-72-68, Chinnarat PHADUNGSIL (THA) 68-71-70, Wolmer MURILLO (VEN) 72-66-71.
210 - Chiragh KUMAR (IND) 68-72-70, Pannakorn UTHAIPAS (THA) 68-72-70, Danny CHIA (MAS) 69-69-72.
211 - Ryosuke KINOSHITA (JPN) 73-71-67, Sutijet KOORATANAPISAN (THA) 77-66-68, Thitiphun CHUAYPRAKONG (THA) 71-70-70.
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