Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, May 8 - Thai teenager Danthai Boonma continued his imperious form by carding a second straight three-under-par 69 to take over the lead in the penultimate round of the PGM Sabah Championship on Friday.
The 19-year-old Thai mixed his card with six birdies against three bogeys for a three-day total of six-under-par 210 to stay one shot ahead of Malaysia’s Danny Chia, who signed for a second consecutive 72, at the Sabah Golf and Country Club.
Thailand’s Thammanoon Sriroj returned with a flawless 66 to surge into third place on 212 in the RM200,000 (approximately US$55,400) Asian Development Tour (ADT) event, which is the 10th leg of the schedule this season.
Singapore’s Koh Deng Shan, Thailand’s Sutijet Kooratanapisan and 2013 Order of Merit champion Nicholas Fung of Malaysia stayed a further shot back in fourth place following rounds of 72, 73 and 73 respectively.
Indonesian William Sjaichudin, who started the day in a tie for 4th, dropped back dramatically after carding a lowly 81 in a round with 2 double bogeys and a triple bogey on hole 6, while compatriots Jordan Irawan (71) and Rory Hie (74) lost ground as wellPGM .
Danthai, who started the day with a three-shot deficit, credited his driver for playing a pivotal role in securing the pole position heading into the final round.
“I hit the ball good. My tee shots were good and I hit a lot of fairways today. I have been working on my swing prior to this week. I’m glad the efforts are starting to pay off,” said Danthai, who earned his 2015 Asian Tour card after finishing inside top-40 at the Qualifying School in January.
“Unfortunately, I didn’t putt as well. I missed a few short putts today but overall, I am happy with how I’ve played so far. Hopefully I can hang in there to win tomorrow,” added Danthai, a double South East Asia (SEA) Games gold medalist in 2012.
The 42-year-old Chia, who held the first round lead, conceded that he would need to rediscover some magic in his putter should he wish to take home the winner’s trophy tomorrow.
“My putting hasn’t been good these two days but I’m still hitting the ball well. I’ll stick to the same game plan and hopefully get some putts to drop tomorrow,” said the two-time ADT winner, who traded three birdies against three bogeys.
Leading third round scores:
210 – Danthai BOONMA (THA) 72-69-69
211 – Danny CHIA (MAS) 67-72-72
212 – Thammanoon SRIROJ (THA) 74-72-66
213 – KOH Deng Shan (SIN) 70-71-72, Sutijet KOORATANAPISAN (THA) 70-70-73, Nicholas FUNG (MAS) 73-67-73
214 – Nils FLOREN (SWE) 72-71-71, Tyler EKENBERG (USA) 78-69-67, Phachara KHONGWATMAI (THA) 68-72-74, Donlaphatchai NIYOMCHON (THA) 72-68-74, Pavit TANGKAMOLPRASERT (THA) 70-69-75, Zen DHARMARATNE (MAS) 70-68-76
218 - Jordan IRAWAN (INA) 74-71-73
221 - William SJAICHUDIN (INA) 74-66-81
222 - Rory HIE (INA) 73-75-74