Thaworn stays in command
THAILAND'S Thaworn Wiratchant stayed in control of the US$300,000 ($510,000) Hero Honda Indian Open at Delhi Golf Club after carding a four-under-par 68 for a three-shot lead yesterday.
The in-form Thai, the leader of the Asian Tour Order of Merit after two wins this year, leads from his young compatriot Prom Meesawat and South African Hendrik Buhrmann.
The very tight fairways of Delhi Golf Club do not suit the game of Thaworn, who admits to not being the straightest hitter with his driver, but the lightweight Thai has played effectively and cautiously from the tee with his three-wood and irons.
'I have not hit my driver in three days,' said Thaworn, who finished equal-fifth in this event last year at the same venue.
'There was some pressure today as it was more windy after about 12 holes. I just tried to keep the ball on the fairway,' added the Thai, who lies on 14-under 202.
Thaworn, who fired six birdies and made two bogeys, is in search of his third national Open title 2005 as he claimed the Indonesian Open in March and the Taiwan Open last month.
'I feel I have been playing on the same level throughout this year but the course this week is really pushing me. The courses in Indonesia and Taiwan where much easier. Delhi Golf Club is a very tight layout. In Indonesia if I missed the fairway it was okay but if you miss here you are in the bushes,' said the Thai star.
Thaworn will be joined in the final group by the rising star of golf in Thailand, Prom.
The 21-year-old from Hua Hin put himself on the brink of his first win on the Asian Tour after carding a 69.
'I played pretty good but today putting was the main thing. I made about four good putts to save par. I just wanted to play the first three rounds in under par and so I am happy to have done that.
'I have only missed one fairway in three days,' said Prom, who won the World Junior Championships in San Diego on two occasions during a glittering amateur career.
Buhrmann will play in the last group thanks to a 69, while a stroke further back is Indian Jyoti Randhawa.
Randhawa, the champion in 2000 who is keen to end the year on a good note, made his big move carding a 67.
'I wish I could have had a couple of more birdies as that would have made the leader (Thaworn) more nervous on last day. But still four shots at Delhi Golf Club is nothing,' said Randhawa.
'I am not playing as great as I want to, but today was more relaxed than first two days, when I put too much pressure on myself,' he added.
His compatriot Arjun Atwal had been expected to also climb the leaderboard but shot a disappointing 73 in the event he won in 1999 for his maiden victory on the Asian Tour. He lies on five under. - AFP
The electric newspaper 31 October 2005 newpaper.asia1.com.sg
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