BANGKOK, Thailand: American John Catlin signed for a two-under-par 70 to share the third round lead with local hope Hung Chien-yao at the Yeangder Tournament Players Championship (TPC) on Saturday.
India’s Viraj Madappa got his title charge back on track by returning with a 67 to share second place with Sihwan Kim of the United States and Thailand’s Panuphol Pittayarat, the overnight co-leader, who slipped following a 71.
Catlin ensured the long hours put into practice paid off as he chased his third Asian Tour victory at the Linkou International Golf and Country Club this week.
The 27-year-old, who has already enjoyed two wins in China and Malaysia this year, traded five birdies against three bogeys to compile a three-day total of eight-under-par 208 which was matched by Hung, who had earlier taken the first round lead.
Hung made up for his disappointing 74 by posting a bogey-free 68 and is now hoping for the local support to steer him towards his maiden Asian Tour breakthrough on home soil.
Having missed three consecutive weekend cuts prior to his maiden appearance at the Yeangder TPC this week, young Madappa showed no signs of nerves as he hauled himself back into contention at the US$500,000 event.
Did you know?
– John Catlin is a double winner on the Asian Tour having won this year’s Asia-Pacific Classic and the Sarawak Championship.
– He has a very impressive form this season. Apart from the two titles has won, Catlin missed only one cut in 14 Asian Tour appearances.
– Hung Chien-yao holds the honour of carding the week’s first hole-in-one recorded during the first round. His ace was achieved using an eight-iron from 177 yards on the 17th hole.
– Hung finished tied-10th in his last Yeangder TPC appearance in 2016 and his best result this season was a tied-20th finish at the Sarawak Championship in July.
– Hung has yet to win on the Asian Tour but has one Asian Development Tour (ADT) title which he won on home soil in 2013.
– Viraj Madappa became the youngest Indian player to win on the Asian Tour after lifting the 2018 TAKE Solutions Masters trophy in August.
– He won at the age of 20 years and nine months, breaking the previous record set by Gaganjeet Bhullar, who was 21 years and three months old when he won his first Asian Tour title at the 2009 Indonesia President Invitational.
– Panuphol Pittayarat’s best result at the Yeangder TPC was finishing tied-third in 2015.
– He turned professional in 2007 at a young age of 14 and was nicknamed ‘Coconut’ by his parents.