PETALING JAYA: Australian rookie Cameron Smith is set to face one of his biggest test after posting an impressive five-under 67 to take the third round lead at the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters.
Smith’s three-day total of 14-under 202 sees him head into the final round of the US$750,000 (RM2.4mil) championship in pole position at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club Saturday.
Hot on his heels are India’s Anirban Lahiri, who fired a flawless eight-under 64 to trail Smith by one. His compatriot Rashid Khan was equally impressive as he matched Lahiri’s effort with a 64 to take third place with reigning Asian Tour Order of Merit winner Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand on fourth after signing a 65 for a 205 total.
Malaysia’s Nicholas Fung, who held the lead for two days, suffered a torrid day as he shot a two-over 74 to fall eight strokes behind leader Smith.
“I’m feeling good, pretty ecstatic right now. I’m actually leading a professional tournament for the first time!” said the 20-year-old Smith, who traded five birdies, an eagle and two bogeys.
“I started off a bit slow. The eagle on the ninth kept the birdies coming. That was the highlight of the day as I holed a pretty long putt. It has been great three rounds so far. I’ll keep to the same game plan tomorrow (today) which is to hit as many fairways and greens as I can and continue to putt well,” added Smith who is only playing his second professional event on the Asian Tour.