Hsinchu, Chinese Taipei, May 23: Overnight leader Chan Shih-chang continued to dominate after carding a four-under-par 68 at the penultimate round of the US$120,000 Ambassador ADT on Saturday.
The local hotshot fired seven birdies against three bogeys for a three-day total of 12-under-par 204 to lead by four shots over countryman Lin Wen-tang, who signed for a 71, at the Hsin Feng Golf and Country Club.
Hsieh Tung-hung, also of Chinese Taipei, stayed another four shots back in third following a 68 while American duo Sam Cyr and Micah Lauren Shin posted rounds of 72 and 71 respectively to share fourth place on 213 at the Ambassador ADT, which is the 11th leg of the 2015 ADT season.
Singapore’s Choo Tze Huang registered a 72 to tie in sixth place with Chinese Taipei’s Tseng Hong-sheng (70) and American Blake Snyder (75) on 214 while Order of Merit leader Hsieh Chi-hsien of Chinese Taipei returned with a 74 to slip to tied-ninth position.
Chan enjoyed a superb front nine when he turned in with a flawless 32 before stumbling with a bogey on the 10th hole. He stormed back gallantly with three straight birdies from the 12th but dropped further shots on 15th and 18th.
“My front nine was solid. I took advantages of all the birdies chances I had and I putted well. I actually had some misjudgments reading the greens today. The greens are harder than it seems compared to the first two rounds even though it rained,” said the 28-year-old Chan, who amassed 27 putts.
“I made seven birdies today and I thought it was very good already. It’s not easy to make birdies on this course. I am feeling some pressure but I will try not to think too much. I just want to focus on hitting as many greens as I can and avoid making mistakes,” added Chan, who is chasing for a record fifth victory on the burgeoning Tour.
Lin, who holds a total of six Asian Tour victories and two ADT wins, admitted that he was far from his best after struggling with wayward drives throughout the round.
“I didn’t play as well as I did in the first two rounds. My tee shots were off but I putted well. I have been wanting give Chan some pressure throughout the round today but didn’t managed to. The greens are hard despite the rain,” said the 40-year-old Lin.
Like Chan, Lin is also playing on his home course and is bracing himself for a testing final round where he seeks to pile some pressure on Chan and pip him to victory.
“Chan has been playing well. We practiced together and we pretty much know each other’s standards. I will need to play very well to turn things in my favour tomorrow. I hope I can pile some pressure on him tomorrow and not let him run away with the victory too easily,” added Lin, who traded four birdies against three bogeys.
Since it was inaugurated in 2010, the ADT has grown from five events in the first year to a record 21 tournaments in both 2014 and 2015.
With the Olympic Games looming in 2016 where golf will be reintroduced as a medal sport, players in the region could earn their spots in Rio de Janeiro by earning Official World Golf Ranking points through the Asian Tour and ADT.
For more information on the ADT, please visit www.asiandevelopmenttour.com
Leading third round scores:
204 – CHAN Shih-chang (TWN) 69-67-68
208 – LIN Wen-tang (TWN) 70-67-71
212 – HSIEH Tung-hung (TWN0 72-72-68
213 – Micah Lauren SHIN (USA) 72-70-71, Sam CYR (USA) 72-69-72
214 – TSENG Hong-sheng (TWN) 74-70-70, CHOO Tze Huang (SIN) 71-71-72, Blake SNYDER (USA) 72-67-75
215 – TSAI Chi-huang (TWN) 69-77-69, Casey O’toole (YSA) 74-69-72, HSIEH Chi-hsien (TWN) 70-71-74
216 – WANG Ter-chang (TWN) 77-71-68, CHAN Yih-shin (TWN) 74-72-70, Nirun SAE-UENG (THA) 74-71-71, Darren TAN (AUS) 70-74-72, LIN Chien-bing (TWN) 70-73-73, LU Wei-chih (TWN) 69-74-73
About the Asian Development Tour
The Asian Development Tour was launched in 2010 with the aim of creating a career pathway for professional golfers in Asia. Sanctioned by the Asian Tour, the Asian Development Tour will ultimately create a new playing platform for emerging stars from across Asia and around the world. Through the Asian Tour Qualifying School, players will qualify for the Asian Development Tour and enjoy the opportunity to hone their games and talent through a secondary circuit in Asia. Designed in the same structure as the Web.com Tour in America and European Challenge Tour, the Asian Development Tour is a stepping stone to the Asian Tour and the exciting world of international golf. The Asian Development Tour has been structured to ensure the best opportunities for its members. The leading five players on the Asian Development Tour will earn coveted Asian Tour cards for the following season, ensuring a proper career pathway for aspiring professionals. All ADT events receive Official World Golf Ranking points.