Taipei: Chinese Taipei’s Kao Shang-hung edged closer to victory after carding a three-under-par 69 to take the third round lead at the Transcend Open on Friday.
Kao’s three-day total of eight-under-par 208 gave him a single shot lead over closest rivals Lin Wen-tang and Chiang Chen-chih who returned with a 70 and 69 respectively to take a share of second place on matching 209s at the Tong Hwa Golf and Country Club.
Chou Hung-nan signed for a 71 to take fourth place on 212 while Hsu Mong-nan, Weng Young-tien and Tsai Chi-huang are bunched in equal fifth on 213 at the US$130,000 tournament which is also the fourth leg of this season’s Asian Development Tour (ADT).
Starting his round tied for the lead with Lin, Kao quickly took control when he birdied the par-four second before adding another on the par-five eighth to reach the turn in 34.
Despite the wet and windy conditions that began to threaten, Kao still managed to mark his card with two birdies against a lone bogey on the par-three 13th after the turn.
“The light rain made play a little difficult today but I was still able to handle the conditions out there. I managed to control the ball really well and I felt very much in control, especially from tee to green,” said Kao.
“I was able to hit a lot of great shots today despite the rain and windy conditions. I hope this will continue on the final day tomorrow,” added Kao.
Although Lin, a five-time Asian Tour winner, lost his grip on the lead, the 36-year-old believes that it is still too close to call who will win as the battle for supremacy at the ADT event reaches its finale on Saturday.
“There’s still everything to play for as it’s only one shot separately us. I’m happy with how I’ve been playing all-week and hopefully I can be up there again tomorrow,” said Lin who marked his card with four birdies against two bogeys.
Meanwhile Chiang had three birdies in his closing four holes to thank for giving a morale-boosting finish.
The Chinese Taipei player who started his round in third place marked his card with two bogeys against a birdie in his outward-nine.
A birdie on the par-five 12th brought him back to even-par before three birdies on the 15th, 17th and 18th holes ensured that he would stay just one shot back from Kao.
“My front-nine was okay and there was nothing much to shout about. But I really enjoyed it in my back-nine as I felt that everything began to fall into place nicely for me. The birdies especially on the 17th and 18th holes really helped to lift the spirits and morale,” said Chiang.
“I’m looking forward to the final day challenge. I just have to try and go out there to win it tomorrow,” added Chiang
The ADT was launched last year as a platform for players to gain access on to the elite Asian Tour. The top-three finishers on the Order of Merit will gain promotion for the 2012 season.
Leading third round scores
208: KAO Shang-hung (TPE) 69-70-69
209: LIN Wen-tang (TPE) 68-71-70, CHIANG Chen-chih (TPE) 69-71-69
212: CHOU Hung-nan (TPE) 68-73-71
213: HSU Mong-nan (TPE) 71-71-71, WENG Young-tien (TPE) 75-67-71, TSAI Chi-huang (TPE) 70-73-70
214: LEE Wei-lin (TPE) 76-65-73, Takafumi KAWANE (JPN) 74-70-70
215: LIEN Lu-sen (TPE) 69-73-73
Photo - Asian Tour
Asian Tour www.GolfGreedy.com