Apr 22, 2017: Thai veteran Prayad Marksaeng is ready to deliver the knockout punch to his closest rivals after he returned with a four-under-par 67 at the third round of the Panasonic OPEN Japan on Saturday.
Despite trailing Korean leader Junggon Hwang by one shot with his three-day total of nine-under-par 204 at the ¥150 million (approximately US$1.37million) event, the 51-year-old knows he can overcome his one-shot disadvantage with his aggressive style of play.
Prayad, a multiple winner in Japan, is tied for second together with the Japanese duo of Hiroshi Iwata and Mikumu Horikawa at the Chiba Country Club.
“It’s going to be an interesting battle for me tomorrow. I’m going to fight. I prefer to be trailing the leader as I can be aggressive, which has always been my style. I was playing nicely in my front-nine where I got four birdies but it started to rain when I was playing my back-nine. I made on bogey on 16 and was happy to finish the last two holes with par as the greens were getting hard to read by then”, said Prayad.
Philippines’ Juvic Pagunsan, who started the day in tied-second place, slipped to a share of seventh place after his erratic form saw him sign for a 71 at the Panasonic OPEN Japan which is co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour Organisation (JGTO)
The 2011 Asian Tour Order of Merit champion is chasing his first win in Japan, having come close with a third-placed finish last week.
After rounds of 72 and 69, China’s Liang Wen-chong made his move with a 68 that saw him move up to tied-20thplace, six shots back of Hwang.
Did you know?
- Hwang has three wins on the Japan Golf Tour and reached a career high of sixth place on the JGTO money list in 2012.
- Prayad will hoping for better lighting conditions as the Lasik surgery he underwent to correct his long sightedness affected his vision today.
- The Thai veteran said his only bogey on 16 came as a result of his inability to see the ball clearly as the skies became overcast.
- Pagunsan made 28 putts for the second consecutive round.
- Liang’s hopes of possibly winning a third title in Japan this week were almost over until he carded one birdie and an eagle in his last nine holes during the second round to safely make the cut.