Apr 29, 2017: Yikeun Chang of Korea charged into contention for a first Asian Tour victory after shooting a third round four-under-par 68 at the inaugural Yeangder Heritage on Saturday. Shiv Kapur sharing tied third place with five-under-par 67.
The 23-year-old, who won the Qualifying School last year, birdied two in his opening three holes before adding another two birdies to seize the lead on 10-under-par 206 at the National Golf Country Club.
Chang holds a one-shot edge over Malaysian rising star Gavin Green, who was also bogey-free in his round of 66 at the US$300,000 Asian Tour event.
Miguel Tabuena of the Philippines fired his career’s first albatross with a six-iron on the par-five 13th hole for a 66 to share third place with Shiv Kapur of India (67) and Thailand’s Poom Saksansin (67), Rattanon Wannasrichan (68), Natipong Srithong (70) and Danthai Boonma (70).
“It is nice to be in contention after all that I went through last year. Lying on the hospital bed you think about putting yourself back into contention. It is nice to be back, feeling fit and seeing my name on the leader board”, said rejuvenated Shiva Kapur.
“I had liver abscess and had to go for surgery. I was out for three months (since September, 2016) and came back a little sooner than I should have. I was pushing my body really hard but now I finally feel that things are back to normal. I’m just glad to be back and playing golf.
That’s why we play golf. You want to be competitive. It has been a frustrating last couple of years, losing my card in Europe and falling sick after that. It has been testing times for me. Let’s hope that tomorrow is a good day as well.
It was a pleasant surprise to see the good weather today! I don’t think I got the best end of the draw in the first two days but I knew you had to make birdies as the scoring was really good. I think it will be the same on Sunday and it will be a birdie fest. I have to make sure the putter stays hot”, said Shiv Kapur.
Chang, who was the co-overnight leader, was delighted to hold on to his lead as players continue to breath down his neck after taking advantage of the ideal scoring conditions.
The 23-year-old Green, also hunting for a first Asian Tour title, birdied all the par-fives to stay within striking distance of Chang. The young Malaysian came close to winning the Hero Indian Open last month before settling for second place, his best result so far on the Asian Tour.