Danny Chia retained his two-stroke lead at the top of the leaderboard of the Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Bukit Jawi Championship after the third round today.

The top-ranked Malaysian carded a three-under 69 to climb to 14-under-par 202 in the RM200,000 event co-sanctioned with the Asian Development Tour, at Bukit Jawi Golf Resort on Penang.

American Casey O’Toole also shot a 69 to stay within striking distance of the lead, with one round to go.

On a day when the top-four players all carded 69s, Thailand’s Itthipat Buranatanyarat remained third with a 206 total and his compatriot Poom Saksansin stayed fourth, a stroke further back on nine-under 207.

Kemarol Baharin, in a tie for ninth on six-under 210, was the next best-placed Malaysian.

Arie Irawan, who is battling Chia for the top spot by a Malaysian in the world rankings, shot a third round even-par 72 and had to settle for a tie of 15th place on three-under 213.

Meanwhile, Chia, who opened with rounds of 67 and 66, said he was happy with how he was hitting the ball and only lamented a few missed putts on the greens.

“These greens can be tricky,” he said. “I had a bit of trouble reading them, but not too much and the pin placements too were rather difficulty. But overall I am happy with how things are going.

“I did not hit the ball as solidly as I did yesterday, but I am still in a good position going into the final round with a two-shot lead.

“I have played for a while now and know what I have to do to win. So that will be how I approach it – go out there tomorrow and try and get the job done by playing steady and controlled golf, attacking the pin when the opportunity presents itself.”

Chia, who will play in the Asia-Pacific Open Mitsubishi Diamond Cup in Japan in a fortnight’s time, is seeking a third victory on the PGM Tour this season following his success at the Panasonic Open Malaysia – Tournament of Champions in January and the inaugural Matchplay Championship in June.


Leading Third Round Scores

202 Danny Chia (Mas) 67-66-69

204 Casey O’Toole (US) 68-67-69

206 Itthipat Buranatanyarat (Tha) 67-70-69

207 Poom Saksansin (Tha) 68-70-69

208 Josh Salah (US) 68-70-70

209 Ratchapol Jantavara (Tha) 70-69-70, Sean Riordan (NZl) 68-71-70, Jordan Sherratt (Aus) 67-70-72

210 Masaru Takahashi (Jpn) 69-73-68, Kemarol Baharin (Mas) 71-68-71, Nitithorn Thippong (Tha) 68-69-73

211 Rory Hie (Ina) 69-72-70

212 Rudy Thuillier (Fra) 70-72-70, Atthaphon Sriboonkaew (Tha) 68-71-73

213 Arie Irawan (Mas) 70-73-70, Mitsuhiko Hashizume (Jpn) 72-69-72, Erwan Vieilledent (Fra) 75-71-67

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