Terengganu, Malaysia, August 23 - Airil Rizman of Malaysia stayed in the title hunt at the PGM Terengganu Masters when he posted a third round one-over-par 72 to share the lead with Grant Jackson of England on Friday.
Jackson battled to a 68 to tie with Airil, who has held a share of the lead since the opening day, on nine-under-par 204 at the RM200,000 (approximately US$65,000) Asian Development Tour (ADT) event.
Malaysia’s Shaaban Hussin, Sweden’s Malcolm Kokocinski and Man O IM of the United States recorded rounds of 68, 67 and 68 respectively to share third place at the Awana Kijal Golf & Beach Resort.
Australia’s Nabil Abdul was a further shot back while Indonesia’s Rory Hie and Japanese duo Takuya Yamauchi and Mitsuhiko Hashizume tied in seventh position on 207.
Darren Tan of Australia, the co-leader for two rounds, slipped back to tied 10th place after shooting a 76.
George Gandranata slipped further back after a round of 72 and is now in a share for 18th place, 6 shots from the lead.
Airil is determined to rediscover the magic in his opening two rounds as he aims to win his first ADT title.
“I played badly. I struggled with the distances. Hopefully I can regain my good form tomorrow,” said the Malaysian, who has won once on the Asian Tour in 2007.
Jackson, who is currently fifth on the ADT Order of Merit, is hoping to secure his second victory this season.
“I hit pretty nicely today. I drive well for a solid round. Scoring was tough today as it was quite windy. It got a little tricky too,” said the 31-year-old Englishman.
“I am looking forward to the final round tomorrow as I’m in a good position right now,” added Jackson, who marked his card with four birdies against one bogey.
Shaaban of Malaysia posted two birdies in each half but wobbled on the last hole when he dropped his only bogey of the day at the event which is sanctioned by the ADT and Professional Golf of Malaysia.
“I had a good round apart from the bogey. In fact, I’ve been playing consistently for the past two rounds as well. Hopefully I can play well on the last day,’ said Shaaban.
The top three players to finish on the ADT Order of Merit at the end of this season will receive Asian Tour cards for 2014.
Leading third round scores:
204 – Grant JACKSON (ENG) 69 67 68, Airil Rizman ZAHARI (MAS) 65 67 72
205 – Malcolm KOKOCINSKI (SWE) 71 67 67, Man O IM (USA) 69 68 68, Shaaban HUSSIN (MAS) 69 68 68
206 – Nabil ABDUL (AUS) 67 69 70
207 – Takuya YAMAUCHI (JPN) 69 70 68, Rory HIE (INA) 69 67 71, Mitsuhiko HASHIZUME (JPN) 69 66 72
208 – R. Nachimuthu (MAS) 69 73 66, Adam MUDA (A) (MAS) 67 72 69, Iain STEEL (MAS) 70 68 70, Rufino BAYRON (PHI) 70 67 71, Darren TAN (AUS) 65 67 76
209 – Scott BARR (AUS) 68 72 69, Michael TRAN (VIE) 73 69 67, Nicholas PUA (MAS) 70 69 70
210 – George GANDRANATA (INA) 67 71 72, Lindsay RENOLDS (CAN) 69 72 69, Sukree OTHMAN (MAS) 72 68 70, Mhark FERNANDO (PHI) 72 67 71, Carl SANTOS-OCAMPO (PHI) 70 69 71