SINGAPORE — Thailand's Sadom Kaewkanjana joined American Sihwan Kim at the top of the SMBC Singapore Open leaderboard after three rounds at the Sentosa Golf Club on Saturday (22 January).
With one round left to play at the Serapong Course, the duo are three strokes ahead of South Korea's Kim Joo-hyung, the current leader of the Asian Tour Order of Merit.
Sadom, 23, carded the best round of the day with a six-under-par 65 - six birdies and no dropped shots - for an 11-under total of 202 to leapfrog over a host of chasing golfers into joint-top spot.
The Thai had won five times in Thailand last year, including a win at the Thailand Open, but a victory at the US$1.25 million (S$1.7 million) Singapore Open would be his biggest win by far.
"I made it bogey-free today and hit 16 greens, many chances to make birdie today, so I’m very happy today,” he said.
“Tomorrow is the final day, and it’s not easy for me, a lot of pressure, but I will do my best.”
Sadom has won once before on the Asian Tour at the 2019 Bangabandhu Cup Golf Open, a win which saw him become the fastest qualifying-school graduate to win on Tour, as it was his first start after graduating.
Second-round leader Sihwan Kim carded a 69 to maintain pace atop the leaderboard. The Korea-American, who has spent much of his career playing on the Challenge Tour in Europe, is chasing his first win as a professional.
"I wish I made more putts, but it is what it is and I’m still leading. I just couldn’t really get it close to the pin today, only had a couple of birdie chances and that was about it,” said the 33-year-old, who has finished in the top five six times on the Asian Tour.
Kim Joo-hyung, on the other hand, got off to a great start with an eagle on the par five Hole 4 and went out in three under, but dropped shots on 15th and 17th to see him slip back.
"I was really disappointed with my back nine, felt that I should have stuck more in there, felt that I should have been mentally more there but made a few mistakes," said the 19-year-old, who remains on course to become the second-youngest winner of the Order of Merit.
Australian Zach Murray (65), the Philippines' Justin De Los Santos (68) and Japan’s Yuto Katsuragawa (68) are a further shot behind Kim on seven-under.
Singapore’s Mitchell Slorach made a hole-in-on at the 17th using a six iron, and won a five-year Shangri-La Diamond Membership and 500,000 Shangri-La Circle Points, worth approximately US$50,000.
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