By The Nation
Pavit, a one-time Asian Tour winner, returned with a near-perfect round highlighted by eight birdies against a bogey to match the overall efforts of Lee and Hung, who had rounds of 64 and 68 respectively, at the Damai Golf and Country Club.
“My driver this week has been quite good. I hit a lot of fairways and gave myself a lot of chances for birdies. This course is not that long. I hit a lot of wedge. I holed a long putt today on the third. It’s about a 30-footer. It gave me a lot of confidence there. On the 12th, I made the putt from about nine yards off the green,” said Pavit, who won his only Tour title in Macau three years ago.
“I wasn’t thinking about winning. I stayed relaxed out there and just enjoyed the round. I know I need to try and retain my card this year but I won’t put myself under any pressure.
"I took a week off to spend some time with my girlfriend in the US over the summer break. It was nice to take a vacation and come back fresh. I worked out there as well. I went to see my friend who is a trainer there,” added Pavit, No 1 player of the Asian Development Tour in 2014 where he won three ADT titles. He missed only one fairway in his commendable round of 65 and needed only 26 putts around the greens on Saturday.
“I will play my best tomorrow. The par-fives here are reachable so everyone can make birdies out there. Putting is key too. You can hit the green but if you can’t make the putts, it’s nothing,” the Thai added.
The trio snatched a one-shot advantage over Jazz Janewattananond of Thailand after they were tied at the top with matching three-day totals of 18-under-par 198 in the full-field event, which is celebrating its second straight edition on the Asian Tour this week.
The round of the day went to Thai-Japanese Kosuke Hamamoto, who fired a sizzling 10-under-par 62 to set a new course record at the Arnold Palmer-designed course.
The 20-year-old rookie made five birdies on each nine to move into a share of eighth place on 201, three behind the leading trio. His third-round 62 would also mark the lowest to-par round on the Asian Tour this season.
Jazz, who started the round with a one-shot lead, traded four birdies against two bogeys to sign for a battling 70. He is chasing a fifth victory and a third one this season which would put him in a strong position to make the International Team for the Presidents Cup in December.
The Sarawak Championship is supported by the Sarawak State government. It is also the Tour’s second stop in Malaysia this season.