Chikkarangappa and Khalin Joshi stay in the hunt as Rattanon Wannasrichan holds fort

Rattanon Wannasrichan retained a two-stroke advantage over Joohyung Kim after three rounds at the Tanah Merah Country Club. Chikkarangappa at 1-under and Khalin Joshi at even par stay in the hunt for Sunday glory.

Chikkarangappa - Asian Tour - Paul Lakatos

15 January 2022: Thailand’s Rattanon Wannasrichan maintained his lead in The Singapore International today at Tanah Merah Country Club, putting himself in position to try and land his second title on the Asian Tour. Chikkarangappa is three shots back at 1-under with compatriot Khalin Joshi another shot back at even par through three rounds.

Rashid Khan is in 14th place at 5-over with Viraj Madappa trailing at T36 at 8-over. Shubhankar Sharma and Ajeetesh Sandhu are a shot further back in T45. Shiv Kapur and Abhijit Chadha reach Sunday at 10-over.

The 27 year old returned a third round one-over-par 73 on the Tampines Course for a two-shot advantage over Korean teenager Joohyung Kim, who returned a 69, on another day of strong winds.

India’s Chikkarangappa S., in with a 70, is in third place three behind the leader – in the penultimate event of the 2020-21 season.

Thailand’s 14-year-old amateur star Ratchanon Chantananuwat, who was two behind the leader at the start of the day, slipped back with a 76 and is five off the pace.

Rattanon Wannasrichan, winner of the 2017 Thailand Open, overcame nerves over the opening holes to stay in front and set up one of the most important days of his career tomorrow.

“I was really nervous in the beginning, but I calmed myself down by singing a Thai song in my mind and by talking to my caddie,” said the Thai golfer, who spent much of last year playing on the secondary circuit in Japan.

“As I keep saying, the course is so hard, everyone feels like that. But it is a good experience for me. I just have to take it shot by shot tomorrow.”

Bogeys on two, nine and 11 suggested it was not going to be Rattanon’s day, but he rallied with birdies on 12 and 18.

For the second day in a row Ratchanon Chantananuwat reached the brutal 626-yard par-five 18th in two but unlike yesterday his eagle putt slipped past the cup.

Kim, aged 19, moved into contention with the joint lowest round of the day, highlighted by a back nine of three under with birdies on 14, 17 and 18.

He said: “It’s so hard to be aggressive here just because of the conditions, obviously you see the scores … you shoot even par, you’re jumping up. So, play aggressive when I can but just try to play as conservative as I can, if possible. That’ll be the game plan.”

In 2019 after earning a battlefield promotion from the Asian Development Tour by claiming three events, he made an instant impact by winning in just his third start on the Asian Tour at the Panasonic Open in India.

Ratchanon, nicknamed “TK”, once again started impressively and was in the mix until a double-bogey on 11 was followed by three bogies in the last six holes.

“Hole 11 just unsettled me,” said Ratchanon Chantananuwat.

“I should have not let that happen. It’s disappointing but at least I will be in the penultimate group tomorrow which has its advantages.”

Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond, the reigning Asian Tour Order of Merit champion, also carded a 76 and in joint 10th, eight behind Rattanon.

Wade Ormsby, the current leader of the Merit list, was another to card 76 and is 10 off the pace.