Danny Chia grabbed a one-shot lead after the third round of the Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Tour’s Bukit Jawi Championship in Penang today.
The 43-year-old, Malaysia’s top ranked player, fired a tournament low seven-under-par 65 at Bukit Jawi Golf Resort to climb to 13-under 203, with a day to go.
Chia’s round was highlighted by four birdies on each nine and the only blemish was the bogey at the par-3 8th hole.
Three birdies over the last four holes, including the final two holes, held Chia in good stead and he noted after the round: “I hit the ball solid today and putted well too.
“Generally speaking, I am happy with how I’m playing and where my game is.”
Turning to the course, he added: “Bukit Jawi is good shape despite it being a bit wet this year.
“The greens are rolling at a good speed and they are in good condition.”
American Johannes Veerman, seeking a first win on the Malaysian Tour, carded a six-under 66, to share second place with Gavin Green, who signed for a 70. They were tied on 12-under 204.
Green, who led the RM200,000 event after the opening two days, had topsy-turvy round. He started with a bogey at the 1st hole then had a birdie at the 6th. He followed that up with a bogey at the 8th before another birdie at the next hole.
On the back nine the 25-year-old Green birdied the 12th and then stumbled to a bogey at the 15th before salvaging some ground with a birdie at the 17th hole.
Ben Leong ensured that the home country’s strong presence at the top of the leaderboard was maintained with three locals in the top-four. He shot a 70 for a 206 total.
Josh Salah, winner of the CCM Rahman Putra Championship in January, was fifth after a 70 of his own left him another stroke back on 207.
Meanwhile, Itthipat Buranatanyarat of Thailand returned with a 69 and was joint sixth with South African Mathiam Keyser, who shot a 67. They were on 208.
Nineteen-year-old Malaysian Low Khai Jei managed a 72 and a tie for eighth, alongside Baxter Reeves (71) of the United States on seven-under 209.
Leading Third Round Scores
203 Danny Chia (Mas) 71-67-65
204 Johannes Veerman (US) 68-70-66, Gavin Green (Mas) 67-67-70
206 Ben Leong (Mas) 67-69- 70
207 Josh Salah (US) 67-74-66
208 Itthipat Buranatanyarat (Tha) 67-72-69, Mathiam Keyser (Rsa) 74-67-67
209 Baxter Reeves (US) 71-67-71, Low Khai Jei (Mas) 67-70-72
210 Johnson Poh (Sin) 72-70-68, Lexus Keoninh (US) 69-73-68
211 Khor Kheng Hwai (Mas) 68-72-71, Nicholas Fung (Mas) 73-67-71, Tawit Polthai (Tha) 71-69-71, James Byrne (Sco) 73-68-70, David Gleeson (Aus) 72-71-68, Feroz Singh Garewal (Ind) 68-70-73, Mohd Iylia Jamil (Mas) 71-71-69