India’s Rashid Khan and Atiruj Winaicharoenchai from Thailand took advantage of late lapses over the closing holes by their opponents to take the third round lead in the US$500,000 Bank Mandiri Indonesia Open, at Pondok Indah Golf Course.
Khan posted a sublime bogey free eight-under-par 64 while Atiruj, who carded a magnificent 63 yesterday, fired a 68 for a tournament total of 14 under.
Indian Gaganjeet Bhullar, who is bidding to win this event for a record third time after his successes in 2013 and 2016, shot 68 and is one shot back with Thailand’s Itthipat Buranatanyarat (72), the leader after rounds one and two, and Chapchai Nirat (68), plus Chinese-Taipei’s Chang Wei-lun (72).
While Khan birdied the par-five 18th and Atiruj carded a par, Gaganjeet and Chang drop shots, Chapchai finished double bogey and bogey while Itthipat staggered home with bogeys on 13, 15 and 17.
Hong Kour amateur star Taichi Kho, joint leader on the opening day, came in a 70 and is just tow off the lead.
“Yeah, it was a pretty good round, I was minus five after nine,” said Khan, who has won twice before on Tour, both in 2014
“I had that somewhere in my mind that I can close the gap [on the leaders] but I had no idea that it was going to be this situation in the end. I made really good birdies on 11 and 12 so I was seven under after 12, and knew we had like two or three good holes coming up. And I knew the stretch wouldn’t be easy. And so the pars I saved on 14, 15 and 17, you know that gave me a momentum.”
Atiruj recorded his maiden wins on The All Thailand Golf Tour this year and his form has certainly not deserted him.
He said: “I mean today’s putting good, but it was quite windy today so I didn’t hit that that close so less birdies than yesterday. I have to find more fairways I guess, in today’s wind I didn’t hit the fairways enough.”
The Thai made brilliant eagle on the par five 14th.
“I hit driver off the tee and a hybrid for my second shot, that left me an eagle putt from like eight feet and I just made it,” he said.
Thailand Poom Saksansin carded a 63, the joint lowest score of the week, and Brazil’s Adilson Da Silva returned a 66, and are joint seventh with Kho.
* Information and images credit to www.asiantour.com and Erlangga Tribuana