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Seremban, Malaysia: S. Sivachandran continued an impressive run to the title of the RM500,000 Negeri Sembilan Masters Invitational 2010 after carding a comfortable three-under-par 69 at the Seremban International Golf Club today.
Sivachandran who started off with a birdie at the third hole maintained his solid game throughout the entire round. A string of birdies at holes six, 13 and 15 cemented his lead at the end of the third round with 15-under par 201 for an eight-stroke advantage over Australia’s Unho Park.
“I’m really happy with how my game turned out. I don’t want to take for granted the lead that I have. I might be comfortable but I’m not thinking of the title yet because there are still 18 holes left,” said Sivachandran who won the KRPM Classic, Malaysia in May.
Although he bogeyed holes five and 10 and missed a three-footer for birdie at hole 11, he said his familiarity with the course has helped him master the tricky layout, particularly on the greens where he made a few long putts that eventually contributed to his remarkable score.
“I don’t feel any pressure for tomorrow but I don’t know if that’s a good thing because I need pressure to play well,” added Sivachandran. “But most importantly, I need to stick to my plan and concentrate on the game. I guess we have to see how things go.”
Park, who came close to winning this championship in 2007 where he lost to Juvic Pagunsan in a play-off, plodded on patiently with a round of 71 for a 209 total. He made five birdies at holes six, eight, 12, 13 and 18 while falling short with four bogeys at hole 10, 11, 16 and 17.
“I’m not putting too much hope in overtaking Siva. Eight strokes lead is massive,” said Park. “What’s more important for me is to maintain my momentum and secure second place.”
Jumping up 10 spots up the leaderboard is Korea’s T.J Kim who fired the day’s best score of 67, which propelled him to the third place with a 210 total. Kim, who sank five birdies at holes one, five, six, eight and 15 against a lone bogey at hole seven, is touted as the dark horse who might just make a surprise challenge tomorrow.  
Another Malaysian, Akhmal Tarmizee Mohd Nazari who was in the top three for the previous two days dropped to fourth after a 73. He is tied with another local player Iain Steel.
“Siva seems to be running away with it but I have my own goal which is to card a good finish to improve my Asian Development Tour Order of Merit ranking.”
Six players including Hirotaro Naito of Japan, Mars Pucay of Philippines and Singapore’s Quincy Quek are tied on a 212 total while defending champion, Lam Chih Bing of Singapore could only manage a 70 for a 213 total. 

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