Chinnarat Phadungsil of Thailand held a slim lead of 12-under-par part-way through the third round of the C.J. Invitational after play was suspended due to poor light yesterday.
Tournament host K.J Choi of Korea trailed closely behind Chinnarat after reaching the turn at 11-under-par to stay one shot back of the Thai, while Korea’s Kim Dae-hyun was in third place at 10-under-par through 10 holes. With almost four hours of play lost due to heavy fog in the morning, 62 players will have to return this morning to complete their third round at 9:20am, with the final round scheduled to start at 10:20am.
Chinnarat got off to a par-birdie-birdie start at the Haesley Nine Bridges Golf Club.
The 23-year-old parred the rest of the holes, but had a scare on the par-three eighth, when his wayward drive found the greenside bunker. He recovered, however, before saving par with a 10-feet putt at the US$750,000 event which is jointly sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Korean Golf Tour.
“K.J. is a very good player and he knows how to win tournaments. So it’s not over yet, but today, the most important thing was that I was very relaxed. I was not nervous and I just played my own game,” Chinnarat said.
Chinnarat, who became the youngest winner on Tour when he won his first title at home at the age of 17 years, is hopeful that his solid run will continue as he looks to rediscover the form that led him to three Asian Tour titles.
“I’m beginning to play well now and I feel confident. I’m going to try my best tomorrow and hopefully, I’ll win,” said Chinnarat, who has enjoyed two top-10 finishes on the Asian Tour this season.
Choi, who resumed his second round only to card two bogeys in his remaining four holes earlier in the day, put up a better performance in the third round, when he charged back into contention.