Atiruj Winaicharoenchai of Thailand (Asian Development Tour picture)
Kuala Lumpur - Atiruj Winaicharoenchai of Thailand is on the brink of securing his first Asian Development Tour (ADT) victory after firing a seven-under-par 65 on Friday to take a four-shot lead into the final round at the PGM Maybank ADT Championship.
Atiruj, nicknamed the Dragon, notched seven birdies in his bogey-free scorecard to reach the 54-hole mark at 15-under-par 201 at the Saujana Golf and Country Club.
Local star Amir impressed with a 68 to give himself another shot at chasing for a maiden ADT victory after coming close with a runner-up finish in Indonesia last year.
Thailand’s Sarit Suwannarit settled a further shot back in third following a 69 while compatriot Nirun Sae-ueng takes fourth place on 207.
Shinichi Mizuno of Japan, Suttijet Kooratanapisan of Thailand and Matt Killen of England, who shared the third-round lead with Atiruj, faded away after mustering matching 72s to trail by six shots in fifth position.
"I continued to hit it very well especially my approach shots. I managed to find the green 16 time today and all my seven birdies were within 15 feet,” said the 19-year-old Atiruj.
"If I keep playing the way I did today, I believe the victory is within my reach. My goal is to shoot a three-under and hopefully that will be good enough to earn me my breakthrough on the ADT.
"If I can do that, it will be such a good achievement considering I have just turned pro last year. This will stand me in good stead ahead of the Asian Tour Q-School next year where I hope to earn my card,” added the young Thai.
Leading third round scores:
201 - Atiruj Winaicharoenchai 66 70 65
205 - Amir Nazrin 68 69 68206 - Sarit Suwannarut 68 69 69
207 - Nirun Sae-Ueng 72 66 69
208 - Shinichi Mizuno 66 70 72, Suttijet Kooratanapisan 68 68 72, Matt Killen 68 68 72
209 - Gavin Green 71 68 70, Seung Park 71 68 70
210 - Ryuichi Oiwa 69 68 73
211 - Joshua Andrew Wirawan 72 71 68, Ben Leong 74 68 69, Quincy Quek 70 69 72, Wolmer Murillo 69 69 73, Kwanchai Tannin 67 71 73
212 - Oscar Zetterwall 72 71 69, Choo Tze Huang 67 77 68
213 - Adam Blyth 71 72 70