June 17, 2017: Malaysia’s Nicholas Fung birdied two of his last three holes to take a one-shot lead over former Asian Tour number ones Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand and Filipino Juvic Pagunsan after the third round of the US$500,000 Queen’s Cup on Saturday.
Indian trio Rashid Khan, S.S.P Chawrasia and Rahil Gangjee were lying inside the top 20 on the leader board after the third round.
Sujjan Singh and Chiragh Kumar made a massive 25 spot jump to scale up to T27 and T35 respectively. Shiv Kapur is lying in T45.
Rashid Khan and Chawrasia remained within striking distance of the leaders, despite dropping from to 8th and T12 respectively. Rashid Khan scored one-under-par 70 with three birdies and 2 bogies to occupy solo eighth position on the leaderboard.
Chawrasia started the round with a bogey and scored one-over-par 72 with 2 birdies and 3 bogeys to share the twelfth position with Thailand’s Swangarunporn.
Rahil Gangjee played a wonderful, yet patchy round of golf on day three. He shot as many as 5 birdies in his one-under score of 70. A double bogey on the the very first hole and two more bogies on the back nine left him at T20 going into Sunday.
Fung, 27, patiently carved out a three-under-par 68 at a tricky Santiburi Samui Country Club to give himself a shot at earning a maiden Asian Tour victory with his three-day aggregate of 11-under-par 202.
“I don’t want to think about winning. I just want to shoot another 68 tomorrow. If I think of winning, there will be a lot of pressure.” – Nicholas Fung
Overnight leader Thaworn battled a 70 to slip into tied second place on 203 alongside sweet-swinging Pagungsan, who birdied three of his last four holes for a 68.
Thai rising star Jazz Janewattananond posted the day’s best of 65 to move into a share of fourth place on 204 alongside Malaysia’s Danny Chia (67), Hung Chien-yao of Chinese Taipei (67) and Angelo Que of the Philippines (69).
Fighting off the effects of a lingering flu, Fung earned his first ever third round lead on the Asian Tour while playing in the company of two-time Order of Merit winner Thaworn, who also holds the most Tour victories with 18 titles, and Pagunsan, the 2011 Asian number one.
The slightly built-Malaysian, who has three-runner-up finishes in his career, turned in one under with three birdies against two bogeys before rallying strongly at the end of the round to edge ahead of his more illustrious playing partners.
Thaworn, who turned 50 last December, lamented poor putting but remains in position to lift a record third Queen’s Cup crown while Pagunsan also finished strongly with his birdie run to stay in contention for only his second Asian Tour victory.
Scores after round 3 of the Queen’s Cup 2017 being played at the par 71, 6,851 Yards Santiburi Samui CC course (am – denotes amateur):
202 – Nicholas FUNG (MAS) 66-68-68.
203 – Juvic PAGUNSAN (PHI) 68-67-68, Thaworn WIRATCHANT (THA) 70-63-70.
204 – Jazz JANEWATTANANOND (THA) 67-72-65, Danny CHIA (MAS) 69-68-67, HUNG Chien-yao (TPE) 66-71-67, Angelo QUE (PHI) 65-70-69.
205 – Rashid KHAN (IND) 65-70-70.
206 – Panuphol PITTAYARAT (THA) 69-67-70, Pasavee LERTVILAI (THA) 69-66-71, Prayad MARKSAENG (THA) 65-70-71.
207 – Piya SWANGARUNPORN (THA) 72-67-68, S.S.P. CHAWRASIA (IND) 67-68-72.
208 – Gunn CHAROENKUL (THA) 69-71-68, Siddikur RAHMAN (BAN) 68-68-72.
209 – Keith HORNE (RSA) 71-70-68, Suradit YONGCHAROENCHAI (THA) 69-69-71, Jbe KRUGER (RSA) 70-68-71, Danthai BOONMA (THA) 68-69-72