Liu rises to the top

Kedah, Malaysia, July 14: China’s Liu Yan-wei made his charge up the leaderboard by carding a three-under-par 69 to snatch the third round lead at the PGM Darulaman Championship on Friday.

Liu, who has shown great promise this season, mixed his card with four birdies and one bogey for a three-day total of 10-under-par 206 to head into the final round with a one-shot lead over Malaysia’s R. Nachimuthu and Thailand’s Nattawat Suvajanakorn at the RM200,000 (approximately US$44,600) Asian Development Tour (ADT) event which is jointly sanctioned with the Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM).

Liu has been in good form of late, notching his first top-10 on the Asian Tour in Bangladesh earlier this year.

He also enjoyed a tied-11th place finish on the European Tour at the Shenzhen International in April.

Despite missing out on his full playing rights at the Asian Tour Qualifying School in January, Liu has made his mark on the ADT where he has already claimed two top-three finishes in three starts this season.

“I’ve been playing very well this season and I just need to believe in myself that my win will come. My game has been good and I’ve to stay patient and remain 100% focused each time I tee up,” said Liu.

Liu started his round in second place, one shot back of overnight leader Nattawat. He signaled his early intent with an opening birdie on the par-five first before going to mark his card with another birdie on eight.

Liu then traded two more birdies on holes 13 and 16 before dropping a shot on 17 at the Darulaman Golf and Country Club.

“I played really solid today. I putted really well and managed to strike the ball accurately too. The only mistake I made today was on 17 where I hit a costly bad shot which resulted in a bogey. Other than that, it’s okay. I’m ready for tomorrow’s final round and the goal is to win,” said Liu.

Nachimuthu will be hoping to put a dent on Liu’s title hopes as he is also determined to make his breakthrough on the ADT.

“I’m going to try my best. My best result was a second-placed finish at the PGM Sime Darby Harvard Championship in 2014 and obviously I hope to better than now. 67 is a good score on a golf course like this and I’ll just continue with the same routine like I did today,” said the Malaysian.

The PGM Darulaman Championship, by featuring on the ADT calendar, receives Official World Golf Ranking status, with the winner receiving a minimum of six points and the top-six players and ties earning points on a sliding scale.

Leading third round scores

206 –  LIU Yan-wei (CHN) 68-69-69

207 – R. Nachimuthu (MAS) 69-71-67, Nattawat SUVAJANAKORN (THA) 71-65-71

209 – Abel TAM (MAS) 71-71-67, Danny CHIA (MAS) 73- 67- 69

210 – Nitithorn THIPPONG (THA) 69-72-69, James BOWEN (USA) 68-72-70, Daeng Abdul Rahman        (MAS) 70-69-71

211 – Pannakorn UTHAIPAS (THA) 70-72-69, Nicholas FUNG (MAS) 70-71-70, Brett MUNSON (USA) 68-72-71, Josh SALAH (USA) 67-73-71

212 – Chanat SAKULPOLPHAISAN (THA) 69-71-72

213 – Puk PRADITTAN (THA) 71-71-71, Kenneth TOBUSE (MAS) 71-69-73, Kenneth DE SILVA (MAS) 72-68-73