Thailand’s Udorn Duangdecha scored a one-over 73 to take the third-round lead at the US$500,000 Mercuries Taiwan Masters at the Taiwan Golf and Country Club yesterday.
Playing in gusty conditions and with a looming Typhoon Parma threatening prospects for play, the 38-year-old held onto a one-shot lead over four-time Asian Tour winner Lin Wen-tang of Taiwan for a three-day total of a nine-under 207.
Lin’s compatriot, defending champion Lu Wen-teh, added a 68 to his two day scores of 71 and 71 to take third place.
Overnight leader Duangdecha looked certain to head into the final round with a four-shot cushion over Lin until a disastrous triple bogey on the closing 18th saw his lead reduced to one stroke.
“My tee shot on the 18th went out of bounds off the right and I had to tee off again. That really set me back. I thought I had read the wind directions correctly, but I was wrong,” Duangdecha said.
Meanwhile, home favorite Lin, who began the day in tied-third, moved up to second place after 13 holes and continued to hold that position. Lin got off to an unconvincing start with bogeys on his opening three holes, but regained his composure with birdies on the sixth and seventh holes, before another dropped shot on the eighth set him back a shot.
He stormed home with another four birdies and a bogey on his back nine to eventually sign for a 71.
“I did not start off well with three opening bogeys, but luckily I managed to birdie the sixth and seventh. That helped to calm the nerves and I was glad I had a good back nine,” Lin said.
Players were anxious about the possible impact of Typhoon Parma, which hit the Philippines on Saturday and was later expected in Taiwan.
“It’ll be ideal if we can play all 72 holes ... This is a very popular event, not only for the players, but also for all the fans gathered here and we all want a good finish,” Lu said.