Thailand's Wisut Artjanawat (pic) shares the third round lead of the Sabah Masters with compatriot Ratchapol Jantavara and Vietnam's Michael Tran. - World Sports Group
PETALING JAYA: Vietnam’s Micheal Tran slumped in the third round but still managed to hang on for the joint lead with Thailand’s Wisut Artjanawat and Ratchapol Jantavara to set up a three-horse race going into the final day in the Sabah Masters at the Sutera Harbour Golf and Country Club in Kota Kinabalu.
Tran, the leader in the first and second round, shot a one-under 70 on Friday to end up with a five-under 208 total after three rounds. Wisut, winner here in 2011 seems to have found his stride along with compatriot Ratchapol, as they both shot 65 to tie for first place with Tran.
Former Asian Tour No. 1 and the oldest player in the field at 54, Frankie Minoza of the Philippines, shot a 69 for a 209 total to stay just one stroke behind the leading trio.
Tran, only one of Vietnam’s two touring professionals, is within striking distant of bagging his first victory since turning pro in 2008.
“It was fun today. I played with Minoza and Sattaya Supupramai. We made a load of birdies and the lead kept changing but I need to keep it up tomorrow and hole some putts,” said Tran.
The 24-year-old Tran will have to reproduce his first and second round form if he hopes to get the better of the in-form Wisut and veteran Minoza for the title in Saturday’s final round.
Defending champion Antonio Lascuna from the Philippines fought his way back up the leaderboard after carding a 67 to stay two strokes off the pace together with Sattaya.