Taiwanese star Lin Wen-tang and Malaysia’s Iain Steel took charge of the third round at the Pertamina Indonesia President Invitational yesterday.
The in-form Lin blasted six straight birdies on the way to a seven-under 65 and was tied at the top of the pack alongside Steel, who shot his second straight 66 at the Damai Indah Golf and Country Club.
With matching 15-under 201 totals, the leading duo enjoy a two stroke advantage over American Anthony Kang, whose 66 put him in third place, while big-hitting Australian Scott Hend recorded a similar score to lie fourth in the US$400,000 event.
Thailand’s Panuwat Muenlek remained steady with his third 69 to lie in joint fifth with compatriot Thaworn Wiratchant, who shot a 71 for a 207 total. Also in the mix in tied fifth spot is the Australian duo of Jason King and David Gleeson, who posted a 67 and 69 respectively, and Filipino Mars Pucay who shot 71.
Having parred the first three holes yesterday, Lin blazed through the front nine, firing six straight birdies.
“I’m quite surprised. I was tired heading into the weekend, but my driving was good and I missed the fairway only once today. I was driving it really well, my iron play was spot on and most of my putts today were within five feet so it was a good day,” Lin said. “I am playing to win. I am gunning for a second title this year and I feel great.”
Steel, who has been knocking on the door of success with top 10 finishes in his last two events on the Asian Tour, will be eyeing a breakthrough this week.
“It’s my fourth straight round without dropping a shot and I’ve managed to continue my streak from last week,” he said.
After a tied third finish at the Brunei Open last week, Kang aims to remain calm for a solid finish today.
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“I want to keep it going and don’t want to force anything to happen. If I can finish one stroke better than the rest of the field after 18 holes tomorrow, it would be nice,” Kang said.
Former USPGA Tour player Hend, who has one runner-up and two top 10 finishes this year, walked away with mixed feelings after a 66 that included an eagle at the par five 13th.
Defending champion Juvic Pagunsan was even-par for the day for a 217 total and is lying in joint 58th place.