Thongchai Edges Closer to Title

Sat 13 Dec 2008

Thongchai Edges Closer to Title

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Siem Reap, Cambodia, December 13: Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee heads into the final round of the US$300,000 Johnnie Walker Cambodian Open, knowing that he is now one step closer to achieving a back-to-back victory as well as his 10th Asian Tour title, after taking the third round lead on Saturday.
The 2004 Asian Tour Order of Merit champion returned with a eight-under-par 64 for a 18-under-par 198 total, to end the day five shots ahead of Americans Corey Harris and Anthony Kang who both carded matching 203s.
Singapore?s Lam Chih-bing also moved into contention for his maiden Asian Tour title after carding a 67 for a 205 total to share fourth place with England?s Steven Tiley and overnight leader Chawalit Plaphol of Thailand.
It had appeared that the lead was going to be a close tussle between Harris and Thongchai when both players were matching birdies for birdies at the start of their first five holes.
However, Harris allowed his lead to slip away when he bogeyed his par-four, seventh while Thongchai went on to birdie his eighth and ninth holes before starting his homeward run in 30.
The Thai star, who is looking to complete a double victory especially after his win in Vietnam last week, never looked likely to lose his grip on the lead after the turn.
Thongchai went on to record two more birdies on the 11th and 12th before returning home in his inward nine in 34.
"I played very well today. My irons and putts were very good. I've been getting all my shots onto the fairways and greens with the exception of missing only one green on the 17th today," said Thongchai.
"I don't want to think too much about the double now as I just want to continue doing what I?ve been doing all week. I think if I putt well again, I can win the tournament,"added Thongchai.
Kang who is hoping to add a third Asian Tour win to his record knows that he has an uphill task of catching up with Thongchai in the final round.
However, all is still not lost.
"Thongchai played really well today and he made it look so easy out there. But we still have one more round tomorrow and that?s why we play. I'll just get out there again and do my best," said Kang.
Meanwhile Lam, who started the day in tied-11th, got off strongly with an opening birdie. He followed that up by firing successive birdies on the third and fourth holes before dropping two shots on the fifth and sixth for bogey-bogey.
The Singaporean, however overcame those two successive bogey scares to post birdie-birdie again on the seventh and eighth.
He went on a spirited charge again after the turn, recording three more birdies before closing with an unfortunate bogey on the 18th.
"Thongchai is way ahead now and with the way things are going, it seems like we are all playing for second place now," said Lam.
"But having said that, I'll try my best again, play another good round of golf tomorrow and with golf, anything can happen," added the Singaporean.
Leading third round scores
198 ? Thongchai Jaidee (THA) 68-66-64
203 ? Anthony Kang (USA) 65-69-69, Corey Harris (USA) 69-65-69
205 ? Lam Chih-bing (SIN) 73-65-67, Steven Tiley (ENG) 70-66-69, Chawalit Plaphol (THA) 67-66-72
206 ? Prom Meesawat (THA) 69-70-67, Rhys Davies (WAL) 64-75-67, Guido Van Der Valk (NED) 71-67-68, Rory Hidayat (INA) 66-71-69, Park Jae-bum (KOR) 68-67-71
207 ? Iain Steel (MAS) 74-65-68,Juvic Pagunsan (PHI) 70-69-68, Thaworn Wiratchant (THA ) 68-70-69
208 ? Artemio Murakami (PHI) 71-70-67, Unho Park (AUS) 72-67-69, Mars Pucay (PHI) 70-67-71
209 ? Chang Tse-peng (TPE) 69-70-70, Baaz Mann (IND) 72-65-72
Ends.
About Johnnie Walker
JOHNNIE WALKER is the world?s number one Scotch whisky brand with annual sales of an estimated 12.7 million nine-litre cases. It is owned by Diageo Plc, the world?s leading premium drinks business.
The JOHNNIE WALKER brand is the icon of status and sophistication. The philosophy behind the JOHNNIE WALKER brand advertising and the ?Keep Walking? message is to inspire and recognize progress and success in people who symbolize status and sophistication.
JOHNNIE WALKER has a long association with golf. Golf and Scotch whisky are arguably two of Scotland?s greatest gifts to the world, which may explain why the world?s leading Scotch whisky brand, JOHNNIE WALKER, is the title sponsor for the Cambodia Open 2007
JOHNNIE WALKER?s association with golf dates back to the mid 19th Century with involvement in many prestigious tournaments including the Ryder Cup in the 1990s and today across all levels of the game and across all continents on earth.
About Phokeethra Country Club
Phokeethra Country Club offers unique and memorable golfing experiences.  It is steeped in the history of the region. Within its grounds stands the magnificent ancient ?Roluh? bridge dating back to a Khmer empire in the 11th century AD.  Apart from the historical related, the Phokeethra Country Club?s clubhouse also features world-class facilities and affords picture-window vistas overlooking the entire landscape of the course.  Phokeethra Country Club is also ranked amongst the top five of the Best New Courses in Asia by Asian Golf Monthly Magazine and also is ranked as the Top Investment by TTG Magazine. As an official partner, Sofitel Phokeethra Royal Angkor Golf & Spa Resort, which is the luxurious five stars resort in Siem Reap, welcomes you all to world-class accommodation and amenities.  Sofitel Phokeethra Royal Angkor Golf & Spa Resort is located close to the magnificent Angkor Wat World Heritage Site.  It offers 238 superior and deluxe rooms including 23 suites and the unique Thubtim Siam Presidential Suite.  As service is the core of the whole operations, Sofitel Phokeethra Royal Angkor Golf & Spa Resort is ranked in the gold list world?s best 700 hotels, resorts and cruise lines, with 100 percent of services by the travelers in the world famous Magazine, Condé Nast Traveler Magazine.
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 Carlsberg (Official Beer), ESPN Star Sports (Official Regional TV Broadcaster), Pin High (Official Apparel Partner), Sofitel (Official Hotel) and Srixon (Official Ball). Sentosa, Singapore?s premier island resort getaway, is the Home of the Asian Tour.