Sep 14, 2019: Indonesia’s Rory Hie gets back to basics and posted a five-under-par 67 to retain control of his lead after the third round of the Classic Golf and Country Club International Championship on Saturday. India’s Rashid Khan lying a shot behind at solo second place, and Abhijit Chadha at solo third place.
Hie, who has led the inaugural Asian Tour event since the opening day, returned to the fundamentals of the game and showed his determination of lifting his maiden Asian Tour title by storming home with three birdies in his last four holes to take a one-shot lead over Rashid Khan with his three day total of 17-under-par 199.
Khan displayed promise of winning his third Asian Tour title as he signed for a 66. The 28-year-old was a picture of consistency as he went bogey-free for 46 holes before dropping his first shot of the week on the par-three 11.
The Indian, however rallied back with another four birdies on holes 12, 15, 16 and 18 to pile the pressure on Hie as he heads into the final 18 holes in second place at the Classic Golf and Country Club.
India’s Abhijit Chadha was a further shot back in third place after he returned with a 68 at a venue which he fondly regards as his winning home ground.
The lanky Indian has won at the Classic Golf and Country Club as a junior and then as an amateur and a third time as a professional on the domestic Tour in 2015.
Korea’s Byungjun Kim, who is playing on a country exemption spot this week, signed for a 67 to take fourth place.
The Korean is eager to surmount a late charge and hopefully make his Asian Tour breakthrough as he has limited playing opportunities on the region’s premier Tour.
Did you know?
- Rory Hie’s best Asian Tour finish came in the 2017 TAKE Solutions Masters in Bangalore where he finished tied-fourth.
- Hie’s best finish in 2019 has been a tied-fifth at the OB Golf Invitational on the Asian Development Tour (ADT)
- After earning First Team All American honors (golf) while at Cerritos High in California in 2004 and 2005, Hie played college golf as a freshman and sophomore at University of Southern California 2006-2008 before turning pro in 2009.
- Rashid Khan won twice on the Asian Tour in 2014, the Chiangmai Golf Classic and the SAIL-SBI Open, on his way to a career best 11th on the Order of Merit with US$243,600 in earnings.
- Having lost his card in 2018, Khan is well on his way to regain his playing status. Currently 34th on the Order of Merit with US$50,334 in earnings, his 2019 season has included a third-placed finish at the Bangabandhu Cup Golf Open, tied-10th at the Hero Indian Open and two wins on the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI).
- Between 2013-2017 Khan never finished lower than 42nd on the Order of Merit and has career earnings of almost US$860,000.
- Aphijit Chadha earned his Asian Tour card this season by finishing tied-35th at Qualifying School last December, the second time he has finished inside the top-40 since 2015.
- His best result in an Asian Tour event came in 2014 when he finished tied-eight in the SAIL-SBI Open at Delhi Golf Club.
- The 28-year-old from Chandigarh was one of India’s top amateurs in 2010 and 2011, and a member of the Indian team that won the silver medal at the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games.
- Chadha finished a career-high third in the Professional Golf Tour of India’s (PGTI) 2015 Ranking, having secured a win at the BILT Open along with three other top-10 finishes, including two top-three results in the season.
- In his four Asian Tour events played in 2019, Byungjun Kim’s best result has been a tied-33rd finish at the GS Caltex Maekyung Open.
- Kim has had eight career top-10 finishes on the Korean PGA Tour (KPGA), including a win at the Daishin Securities KPGA Championship in 2011.