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Taipei: Local hero Lin Wen-tang seized the third round lead at the Ballantine’s Taiwan Championship with a sizzling six-under-par 66 on Saturday.
Lin fired seven birdies against one bogey to take the outright lead with a three-day total of eight-under-par 208 at the North Bay Golf and Country Club.
Overnight leader Hsu Chia-jen struggled with his fitness as he registered a disappointing 75 for a 209 total to lie in second place at the US$90,000 Asian Development Tour tournament.
Local talent Hsu Mong-nan shot a 67 for a 211 total to lie in third place while Chan Yih-shin is a stroke back on 212. Myanmar’s Zaw Moe, Australian Brad Smith and Chang Yao-bin are tied in fifth place on 213.
Lin, a five-time Asian Tour winner, credited his strong iron play for his impressive round. He made the turn in 33 and edged his way ahead of the chasing pack with a birdie on the final hole.
“My short game was excellent. All my birdies were close and my game is in good condition. I just have to be wary of the green speeds and if I can do that, I’m confident of winning,” said Lin.
Lin will be inspired to shoot for glory as he hopes to keep his promise to his family and friends of winning one title every year.
“I told many of my friends and family that I will win a tournament every year and so far I haven’t won anything! Hopefully that will change tomorrow,” added the 36-year-old.
Hsu, who is ranked fourth on the Asian Development Tour Order of Merit, mixed his round with two birdies against five bogeys and was disappointed not to take a share of the lead after a bogey on the final hole.
However, he remains optimistic of landing his first career victory and improving his standings on the Asian Development Tour Order of Merit where the top-three will earn their Asian Tour cards next season.
“This is a very important tournament for me because it is my best chance to improve my rankings on the Order of Merit. That is my goal this week.
“Lin Wen-tang is Chinese Taipei’s top player and it would be great if I could defeat him to the title. Many young players look up to him and to be able to beat him would be the icing on the cake,” said Hsu, whose grandfather Chi-san was a former Singapore Open champion.
Myanmar’s Moe struggled with his driver to finish on 73, five strokes behind the leader.
“My driving was horrible and it caused my round. I could have closed the gap on the leader but my driving let me down,” said Moe, who has won once on the Asian Tour.

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