Photos by chung500
Linkou, Chinese Taipei, July 8: Local prospect Wang Wei-lun stood on the brink of a first Asian Development Tour (ADT) title when he carded a four-under-par 68 to lead by one shot following the penultimate round of the Charming Yeangder ADT on Saturday.
The 23-year-old Wang, who had lost two play-offs on the region’s secondary circuit since turning professional two years ago, put himself in position for a breakthrough win once again after marking his card with five birdies against a bogey for a 12-under-par 204 total.
Wang Tsung-chieh of Chinese Taipei returned with the day’s best round of 65 to sit in second place alongside countryman Yang Fei-hao (71) and Japan’s Masaru Takahashi (69) at the challenging Linkou International Golf and Country Club.
Local hope Yu Chun-An, the only amateur to make the halfway cut, continued to shine as he returned with a 68 to stay two shots back in fifth place with compatriot Hsu Hao-sheng (70) and Thailand’s Atthaphon Sriboonkaew (71).
Local hero Lin Wen-tang posted a second straight 68 to tie in eighth place on 207 with a host of other players, including Tirawat Kaewsiribandit (70) of Thailand, who claimed his first ADT title on home soil last week.
Having suffered two play-off defeats in the last two years, Wang is determined to redeem himself by getting the job done on Sunday.
He was beaten in the play-off by Thai veteran Thammanoon Sriroj at the 2015 Ballantine’s Championship and American Johannes Veerman at the 2016 Taifong Open.
“It’s not about how many times you lose in a play-off. It’s about how many times you are able to put yourself in position for that win.” – Wang Wei-lun, 23
“It’s not about how many times you lose in a play-off. It’s about how many times you are able to put yourself in position for that win,” said a confident Wang, who is taking the 54-hole lead for the first time in his career.
Starting from the first, Wang soared with three straight birdies from third before an errant drive on ninth caused him to stumble with a bogey. He recovered with two birdies on his way home.
“I played steady golf out there. I gave myself quite a few birdie chances out there. The three birdies in-a-row gave me some momentum and confidence heading into the round. My short game was good today and I took advantage of that.
“I had managed my mental game well when I got into the play-offs in the last two occasions. I believe I can keep off the nerves again tomorrow. A good game plan will be key for me. Hopefully I can win without getting into a play-off!” Wang added.
Masaru, who had enjoyed top-three finishes in his last two starts on the ADT, remained on course to end a four-year title drought after he returned with a round seven birdies against four bogeys.
“It was a mixed round. I gave myself a lot of chances for birdies but I also make a lot of mistakes for bogeys. You need to take advantage of all the par-fives and try to hit as many fairways as you can to score on this course.
“I birdied the par-five first hole for the third straight day today and that got my round going. My target is to get to 15-under-par tomorrow. If I can do that, I should have a good chance to win,” said the 30-year-old Japanese, who enjoyed a top-five finish on the same course at the Asian Tour’s Yeangder TPC last year.
The winner of the Charming Yeangder ADT will take home a prize purse of US$26,250 and receive six Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points while the top-six players and ties earn points based on a sliding scale.
For more information on the ADT, please visit www.asiandevelopmenttour.com.
Leading round three scores:
204 - WANG Wei-lun (TWN) 70 66 68
205 - WANG Tsung-chieh (TWN) 71 69 65, Masaru TAKAHASHI (JPN) 69 67 69, YANG Fei-hao (TWN) 66 68 71
206 - YU Chun-an (A) (TWN) 72 66 68, HSU Hao-sheng (TWN) 69 67 70, Atthaphon SRIBOONKAEW (THA) 68 67 71
207 - Suradit YONGCHAROENCHAI (THA) 71 69 67, LIN Wen-tang (TWN) 71 68 68, Michael TRAN (VIE) 70 67 70, Tirawat KAEWSIRIBANDIT (THA) 67 70 70, LEE Chieh-po (TWN) 66 70 71
208 - Ben LEONG (MAS) 69 70 69, Scott SECORD (CAN) 71 67 70
209 - Jakraphan PREMSIRIGORN (THA) 67 74 68, YEH Wei-tze (TWN) 69 71 69, Blake SNYDER (USA) 70 69 70, Gunn CHAROENKUL (THA) 71 68 70, Rory HIE (INA) 70 68 71, Pavit TANGKAMOLPRASERT (THA) 67 71 71, Micah Lauren SHIN (USA) 69 69 71
210 - James BOWEN (USA) 72 68 70, John CATLIN (USA) 71 69 70, Mathiam KEYSER (RSA) 71 71 68, LIU Yan-wei (CHN) 74 69 67, HSIEH Tung-hung (TWN) 72 71 67
About Asian Development Tour
The Asian Development Tour was launched in 2010 with the aim of creating a career pathway for professional golfers in Asia. Sanctioned by the Asian Tour, the Asian Development Tour will ultimately create a new playing platform for emerging stars from across Asia and around the world. Through the Asian Tour Qualifying School, players will qualify for the Asian Development Tour and enjoy the opportunity to hone their games and talent through a secondary circuit in Asia. Designed in the same structure as the Web.com Tour in America and European Challenge Tour, the Asian Development Tour is a stepping stone to the Asian Tour and the exciting world of international golf. The Asian Development Tour has been structured to ensure the best opportunities for its members. The leading five players on the Asian Development Tour will earn coveted Asian Tour cards for the following season, ensuring a proper career pathway for aspiring professionals. All ADT events receive Official World Golf Ranking points.