Thai veteran Thaworn Wiratchant dropped four shots over his last five holes in a rare lapse that allowed three rivals into a share of the third-round lead in the Queen’s Cup in Koh Samui, Thailand, yesterday.
Thaworn was four shots ahead on another blustery day at Santiburi Samui Country Club before his game unraveled with some misjudged tee-shots for a one-over 72 and a three-day total of four-under-par 209. Unheralded Thai Varut Chomchalam, 23, produced a superb 66 to charge into the joint lead after starting the day six back, while Bangladeshi Siddikur Rahman rammed in a 7 foot birdie putt at the closing hole for a 71.
Philippine teenager Miguel Tabuena, who has held a share of the lead since day one, overcame a double-bogey and two bogeys with three birdies to ensure he has a chance of becoming the fourth-youngest winner on the Tour.
At the end, Thaworn, who is chasing a record-equalizing 13th Asian Tour victory, was kicking himself for losing his grip on the US$300,000 Queen’s Cup, the 11th leg of this season’s Asian Tour.
“I only have myself to blame,” said the 45-year-old, who won at Santiburi Samui in 2008 and was runner-up two years ago. “I didn’t play well on the last three holes, couldn’t tee-off well and when you get into bushes or jungle, it is not good.”
Taiwan’s Chan Shih-chang had his best round of the tournament, shooting a two-under 69 after carding a 72 in the first round and a 74 on the second, to sit in a three-way tie for 19th at two-over 215.
Compatriot Hsu Chia-jen, whose first two rounds were the exact same as Chan, shot one-under 70 for a total of 216. Meanwhile, Lu Tze-shyan rounded out the Taiwanese contingent left in the tournament with a three-over 74 to sit at eight-over 221.
Additional reporting by staff writer