In yet another show of the rich talent that this country has, a teenage amateur player, Daeng Abd Rahman, seized the lead of the Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Tour’s RM180,000 Danau Closed Championship today.
The fifteen-year-old upstaged the pros with a disciplined performance that will have him take a one-stroke lead into the fourth and final round tomorrow.
The Johor lad, who plays off a 1-handicap and is a member of the Malaysia Golf Association (MGA) national Elite team, shot a second successive four-par 68 in the third round at Kelab Golf Danau UKM in Bangi, Selangor today. That gave him an eight-under-par 208 total.
Joint overnight leader and a multiple winner on the Tour, Sukree Othman carded an even-par 72 for his 209 total, while Kemarol Baharin (72) and Akhmal Tarmizee (73), another of the leaders after the second round, were tied for third. They were two strokes off the lead on 210.
Speaking after the day’s play, Daeng said he was happy to have kept his concentration through the round and come through with a slender lead.
His father, Aziz, added that it is the teenager’s ability to stay focused in the heat of the battle that made the difference today, as he emerged with a bogey-free round.
“Obviously the course played tougher today,” said Aziz. “But Daeng kept his cool and came through the pressure well.”
Asked what was special about Daeng’s game, Aziz said it was his “natural swing”.
Turning the lad’s showing, which the father followed step-by-step, Aziz said: “His all-round game today was very good. His driving, iron-play, short game and putting were all in good rhythm. But I must say that his putting was maybe the best of the lot.”
Kim Leun Kwang (70) and reigning PGM Tour Player of the Year Airil Rizman (71) were joint fifth on four-under 212, while Mohd Rizal Amin posted the low round of the day after he shot a six-under 66. That left him in a tie with Ben Leong (70) and Khor Kheng Hwai (76) on three-under 213.
Leading Third Round Scores
208 Daeng Abd Rahman (A) 72-68-68
209 Sukree Othman 72-65-72
210 Kemarol Baharin 71-67-72, Akhmal Tarmizee 70-67-73
212 Kim Leun Kwang 71-71-70, Airil Rizman 71-70-71
213 Mohd Rizal Amin 72-75-66, Ben Leong 71-72-70, Khor Kheng Hwai 69-68-76
214 Irfan Yusoff 72-70-72, R. Nachimuthu 73-68-73, Nicholas Pua 70-70-74