Mohammad Siddikur Rahman of Bangladesh put himself in prime position to secure a second Asian Tour victory by taking the third-round lead of the Mercuries Taiwan Masters yesterday.
Barely a month since becoming the first Bangladeshi to win on the Asian Tour, Siddikur registered a superb five-under 67 for a one-stroke lead with a three-day total of five-under 211 at the Taiwan Golf and Country Club.
Thailand’s Pariya Junhasavasdikul, who is one of the most consistent players on the Asian Tour this season, stayed in touch with the leader with a 70 for a 212 total at the US$500,000 Asian Tour event. South Africa’s Peter Karmis, who won his maiden Asian Tour title at the Handa Singapore Classic last month, posted a 71, two off the pace, while Taiwan’s Chan Yih-shin and Lu Wei-chih, a former Mercuries Taiwan Masters champion, lay in tied fourth place on a 216 total. Asian legend Hsieh Min-nan of Taiwan, who at the age of 70 years and 53 days now holds the record as the oldest golfer on the Asian Tour to make the halfway cut, posted a solid 75 for a 226 total.
Siddikur made the turn in 32 and carded his only blemish of the round on the 10th, but recovered with birdies on holes 13 and 15.
“This is my best round so far and it was good. I got off to a good start and my ball striking was as good as yesterday. Everything just clicked for me,” said Siddikur, who learned the game by fashioning his first golf club with a seven-iron head on a piece of metal rod.
Pariya has four top 10 finishes so far this season and he hopes to translate his impressive form into a victory tomorrow. The 26-year-old turned in 34 highlighted by an eagle on the par-five seventh hole after his seven-iron approach shot flew for about 165 yards before landing four feet from the pin.
He was disappointed not to take advantage on the back nine, where he posted nine straight pars.
“There was nothing else I could do because I gave myself enough opportunities and I just couldn’t go lower,” the graduate from Purdue University in the US said. “My eagle was one of those lucky shots because I was aiming for the edge of the green, but it somehow landed near the pin.”