Chapchai continues record march at SAIL Open golf

March 20th, 2009 - 8:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Gurgaon, March 20 (IANS) Chapchai Nirat continued to pound the course, adding a sizzling seven-under 65 for a sensational 27-under after three rounds in the SAIL Open golf here Friday.
He opened up an eight-stroke lead over second-placed Gaganjeet Bhullar (66). Two behind Bhullar was a threesome South African Keith Horne (64), Prom Meesawat (68) and Antonio Lascuna (67).

Unable to make use of the excellent scoring conditions were Mark Purser and Artjanawat, whose 72 each saw them fall from over second and third to sixth and tied seventh respectively. Purser was 16-under and Artjanawat was 15-under alongside Ross Bain (66) and Meesawat (68).

From the Indian point of view, Ashok Kumar made a good move upwards with a five-under 67 that carried him to 14-under 202 and tied 10th.

Shiv Kapur (69), tied 10th after second round slipped to 13th and S.S.P. Chowrasia (68), Gaurav Ghei (69) and Rahil Gangjee (71) were tied 20th at 11-under, where the group also included Mardan Mamat (73), who slid from tied fifth to 20th.

Chapchai is now in sight of Ernie Els winning total of 31-under on the par-73 in Kapalua, Hawaii while winning the Mercedes Benz Championships on US PGA in 2003 and Daniel Chopra’s winning total of 30-under at the Henrico County Championships in 2004.

India’s Mukesh Kumar has shot a 30-under at the par-70 Qutub Golf Course on the Indian Tour in 2005. The Asian Tour record for the lowest winning total is 29-under set by Els at the 2003 Johnnie Walker Classic in Perth.

After two very eventful days, Chapchai seemed to be carrying on with birdies on the second and third. But then they dried up and time and again his putts stopped short. Seven straight pars followed by a bogey on 11th meant he was only one-under after 11.

But a birdie on 12th pepped him and then he closed the round with five straight birdies from the 14th to the 18th. His total includes a score of 11-under for the par-fives alone and he has missed out on a birdie on only one par-five, the ninth in the third round. It is the lowest ever three-round total on the Asian Tour.

“I am extremely happy with my performance, though a little disappointed that I could not shoot another 62. The conditions were a shade tougher today because the pin positions were more difficult compared to the last two rounds and it was windy and overcast in the morning.”

As for his gameplan for the final day, he said, “I’ll stick to my strategy of aiming for birdies on the par fives. I expect the pin positions to be tougher in round four. I’d love to break the world record of 32 under for four rounds. I’m really enjoying the game at this stage of my career and relish every challenge.”

As Chapchai was running away with the event, Bhullar seemed to be the only one with an outside chance of narrowing the gap. The young Indian was four-under through 13 holes, with four birdies and no bogeys.

“This is a course for the taking. I have not been able to take full advantage of the par-fives,” admitted Bhullar. After missing out on a birdie only once on the par-fives on first two days, Bhullar had just one birdie from the four par-fives in the third round.

Bhullar, who has been on a bogey-free streak for the last 43 holes -his last bogey came on the 11th on the first day - said, “I am a little disappointed to miss about three putts within 10 feet today.”

Leading scores at the end of the third round of the SAIL Open golf Championships, the sixth leg of the Asian Tour, at the Classic Golf Resort:

189 - Chapchai Nirat (THA) 62-62-65

197 - Gaganjeet Bhullar IND) 67-64-66

199 - Keith Horne (RSA) 68-67-64, Richard Moir (AUS) 66-67-66, Antonio Lascuna (PHI) 65-67-67

200 - Mark Purser (NZL) 65-63-72

201 - Ross Bain (SCO) 67-68-66, Prom Meesawat (THA) 68-65-68, Wisut Artjanawat (THA) 65-64-72

202 - John Parry (ENG) 68-68-66, Thammanoon Srirot (THA) 67-68-67 Ashok Kumar IND) 67-68-67

203 - Thaworn Wiratchant (THA) 69-69-65, Chris Gaunt (AUS) 70-66-67, Sushi Ishigaki (JPN) 68-67-68, Shiv Kapur (IND) 68-66-69, Will Yanagisawa (USA) 68-66-69, Mars Pucay (PHI) 67-66-70

204 - Rory Hie (INA) 67-70-67

205 - Unho Park (AUS) 70-67-68, S.S.P. Chowrasia (IND) 66-71-68, Gaurav Ghei (IND) 69-67-69, Rahil Gangjee (IND) 67-67-71, Jerome Delariarte (PHI) 71-69-65, Mardan Mamat (SIN) 65-67-73

206 - Amandeep Johl (IND) 68-69-69, Siddikur (BAN) 68-70-68, Christopher Campbell (AUS) 67-71-68, George Coetzee (RSA) 68-68-70, Naman Dawar IND) 67-69-70, Jeff Burns (USA) 70-68-68, Artemio Murakami (PHI) 67-68-71, Kiradech Aphibarnrat (THA) 72-68-66,

Kodai Ichihara (JPN) 70-70-66.

Indo-Asian News Service

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