Brit takes one point lead as Thailand Mixed enters final day
In pursuit of becoming the first foreign champion at the TrustGolf-presented Thailand Mixed, British golfer Matt Killen took centre stage after delivering a scorching 62 during the third round of the Last Dance Thailand Mixed at Lakeview Resort and Golf Club in Petchaburi on Saturday.
Hailing from Hua-Hin, Killen embarked on his journey with a remarkable start, racking up six birdies in the first seven holes and adding three more to his scorecard. His exceptional performance culminated in a bogey-free round, leaving him at an impressive 15 under-par 201. This propelled him to a one-shot lead over two-time Asian Tour victor Panuphol Pittayarat and overnight leader Newport Laparojkit.
The three, along with other contenders, will compete in the final showdown for the 750,000 baht prize up for grabs.
Reflecting on his stellar performance, Killen, known for his participation in the Asian Development Tour, said: "Today was obviously a good day. The score is really good. I just kept the mistakes off the card. I had a really good start, which helped. Six birdies in the first seven holes. I had a good start and kept it going."
Killen, who calls Springfield Royal Country Club in Hua Hin his base, is yet to secure a title. His best result to date was a third-place finish in the BRG Da Nang Open in Vietnam last year. A victory tomorrow would make him the first foreigner to claim the Thailand Mixed series title since its inception in 2021.
Regarding his strategy for the final day, Killen said on Saturday: "It's going to be the same tomorrow. We'll see if it gets windy tomorrow. I guess I have to hit a lot of birdies out there. But still, you have to play safe at times, as sometimes you don't want to attack too much."
Panuphol, on the other hand, shot a remarkable 63, featuring nine birdies with a lone bogey on the 10th hole, leaving him one shot behind at 14 under-par 202.
He described the day as enjoyable and shared his strategy: "It was a day that I felt fun out there. As it was a moving day, I tried to create as many birdie chances as possible. My plan is to hit the fairway and the green, then try to make some great putts. The more birdies I make, the better it will be."
Also finishing with a total score of 202 was Newport, who had a challenging day, carding four birdies and two bogeys for a third-round 69.
Despite his struggles, Newport remained optimistic: "I have to say that I was giving it a fight out there, but I just couldn't make birdies. I couldn't feel the speed of the ball. I need to regain my touch and play more relaxed tomorrow."