Brett Munson of the United States moved into the lead after the third round of the US$100,000 Ciputra Golfpreneur Tournament courtesy of an impressive first half display on Saturday.
Munson, winner of the PGM CCM Rahman Putra Championship in Malaysia in March, was flawless on the front nine courtesy of four birdies and one eagle before he added another two birdies and one bogey on his way home for a seven-under-par 65.
His 12-under-par 204 total was a shot better than Malaysia’s Arie Irawan (66) and Michael Moore (69) of Australia, who are in the hunt for a first Asian Development Tour (ADT) victory at the Damai Indah Golf, BSD Course.
Anura Rohana of Sri Lanka and opening round leader James Byrne of Scotland were a two shots back on 207 in tied fourth after shooting a 67 and 69 respectively.
Munson, ranked third on the ADT Order of Merit, enjoyed a hot start when he turned in 30 after holing a 25-yard chip-in eagle on the fourth hole before adding three straight birdies to put himself in prime position to win his second title this year.
“The front nine has been good for me but not the back nine. I was hitting it close all day and made some good putts. I missed a few birdies coming in but I’m definitely happy with my effort. I need to keep doing what I’ve been doing to win again,” said the 28-year-old American.
Arie birdied the last hole to stay one shot from the leader but it was a tap-in eagle on the eight hole which was his highlight of the day. The young Malaysian reckons that he will need to keep things simple to win his first ADT title.
“The eagle was good. I hit a three iron from 230 yards which landed about two feet. That was an easy eagle,” he laughed. “I know my game and I don’t have to do anything special. If luck is on my side then hopefully I can win,” said Arie.
Starting this season, the ADT will reward the top five players on the final Order of Merit with playing rights for the 2015 Asian Tour season.
This is a significant boost for aspiring professionals on the ADT as it is the highest number of Asian Tour cards up for grabs since the burgeoning Tour was inaugurated as a gateway to the Asian Tour in 2010. Only the top three players on the final ADT Order of Merit for each season obtained their Asian Tour cards in the past.
Leading third round scores:
204 – Brett MUNSON (USA) 71 68 65
205 – Arie IRAWAN (MAS) 68 71 66, Michael MOORE (AUS) 71 65 69
207 – Anura ROHANA (SRI) 68 72 67, James BYRNE (SCO) 64 74 69
208 – Nils FLOREN (SWE) 71 70 67, Annop TANGKAMOLPRASERT (THA) 69 69 70, Jake STIRLING (AUS) 68 70 70, Poosit SUPUPRAMAI (THA) 67 70 71, Sattaya SUPUPRAMAI (THA) 69 68 71
209 – William SJAICHUDIN (INA) 71 70 68, Niall TURNER (IRL) 69 67 73
210 – Peter RICHARDSON (ENG) 70 72 68, Pijit PETCHKASEM (THA) 70 71 69
211 – Zaw MOE (MYN) 68 73 70, James BOWEN (USA) 69 74 68, Airil Rizman ZAHARI (MAS) 69 71 71, Jay BAYRON (PHI) 69 71 71, Paul HARRIS (USA) 68 72 71, Mathiam KEYSER (RSA) 72 68 71, YE Jian-feng (CHN) 68 69 74
212 – Suppakorn UTHAIPAT (THA) 69 73 70, Samuel CHIEN (USA) 72 71 69, Malcolm KOKOCINSKI (SWE) 68 75 69, PARK Jin-Woo (KOR) 71 68 73, Quincy QUEK (SIN) 70 74 68, LAM Chih Bing (SIN) 74 71 67