Overnight leader Oscar Zetterwall of Sweden continued to dominate when he fired a flawless five-under-par 67 on Friday to take a commanding seven-shot lead into the final round of the PGM Sabah ADT Championship.
Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia, September 13: Overnight leader Oscar Zetterwall of Sweden continued to dominate when he fired a flawless five-under-par 67 on Friday to take a commanding seven-shot lead into the final round of the PGM Sabah ADT Championship.
The 31-year-old carded five birdies and extended his lead to 13-under-par 203,putting himself in prime position to secure his third Asian Development Tour (ADT) victory at the Sabah Golf and Country Club.
Local hotshot Ben Leong returned to form by registering a 66 to sit in second place with also a mathematical chance of defending his title while Frenchman Erwan Vieilledent stayed another shot behind in third afterbattling to a 73.
Thailand’s Atiruj Winaicharoenchai posted a 75 to be placed fourth on a 213 total, one shot ahead of Japan’s Naoki Sekito who sparkled with a 66 to boost his chances of cementing his prime position atop the Order of Merit with a good finish.
Zetterwall, who tasted his last ADT victory at the Ciputra Golfpreneur Tournament in Jakarta three year ago, wasted no time in building on his two-shot cushion with birdies on the second and fourth holes.
He then gained three more shots in his first next four holes after making the turn before holding steady to keep a bogey-free scorecard.
Zetterwall credited his hot putter for the impressive display apart from the par-save he made at the eventful seventh hole which kept his momentum going.
“I putted really good today. I made many good putts but it was the par-save I made on seven which was certainly the biggest putt I made today.
“I hit a driver on the wrong fairway as I had to hook my second shot around the tree and I almost went into the water.
“I didn’t chip it very good, it landed about 30 feet but I made that par! That was massive because it kind of kept me going a little bit and allowed me to stay in momentum,” said Zetterwall.
Despite being seven shots ahead, Zetterwall said he is taking nothing for granted.
“This is a new situation for me. I have never held this kind of lead heading into the final round before.
“Seven shots is a lot of shots but on this difficult golf course, if you hit it to the wrong spot you can lose those shots pretty quickly.
“It’s obviously a good lead but there’s still 18 holes to play. Of course I’m going to be nervous but I will tell myself to stay patient if things go wrong. It is important to take one hole at a time and keep executing good shots,” said the Swede.
The winner of the PGM Sabah ADT Championship will take home RM39,375 and receive six Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points.
With the Olympic Games looming in 2020, the OWGR points offered through ADT could boost the players in their quest to earn their spots in Tokyo.
The PGM Sabah ADT Championship is one of the nine tournaments jointly sanctioned by the Malaysia’s PGM Tour. It is the 13th stop on the ADT schedule this season.
The ADT will reward the top-seven finishers on the Order of Merit at the end of this season with Asian Tour cards for 2020.