Sat, Sep 08, 2012 - Page 20 News List

ASIAN TOUR: Veteran Wiratchant takes lead in Selangor Masters

AFP, KUALA LUMPUR

Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand hits a shot yesterday in the third round of the Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters event in Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia.

Photo: AFP / ASIAN TOUR / KHALID REDZA

Thailand’s veteran golf star Thaworn Wiratchant pulled away from the pack to take a three-shot lead after the third round of Malaysia’s Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters yesterday.

The 45-year-old produced a golfing master class with a four-under-par 68, pushing him to the brink of a record 14th Asian Tour title.

Swedish rookie Jesper Kennegard moved into second place after hitting a 67, while second-round co-leader Michael Tran of Vietnam slipped back to third place with American Jonathan Moore and Filipino newcomer Jhonnel Ababa.

After two birdies through seven holes at Kota Permai Golf and Country Club, Thaworn dropped three shots on the eighth and ninth holes before fighting back in style.

A 60-foot monster putt for birdie on the 10th got him back on track as he pulled clear of the field, according to an Asian Tour press release.

“It was a good comeback,” said Thaworn, who is the highest-ranked player in this week’s field.

“After the double on eight and bogey on nine, I said: ‘I’m dead.’ My heart was okay but my feeling was like I didn’t have any power. On the 10th tee, I told myself that I must come back. I was aiming for two or three-under-par, but at five-under, I am really happy,” Thaworn added.

The unorthodox swinging Thaworn, who won the Queen’s Cup in June to match countryman Thongchai Jaidee for most wins on the Asian Tour, described how his game turned around on the 10th.

“I hit my second shot short, maybe 28 yards to the pin, but I putted in. My game then came back. I felt good after that. I kept hitting it on, kept the ball on the fairway and kept making birdies.

“I think I have a good chance [to win], but the second or third guy can reach the par-fives in two for eagle, which I can’t do. We don’t know what will happen,” said Thaworn, who has a three-day total of 13-under-par 203.

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