Swinging on in Lion City

  • Golf
  • Sunday, 20 Jan 2019

In the fray: Ervin Chang notched six birdies in the third round to end up tied for 16th spot in the Singapore Open at the Sentosa Golf Course yesterday.

SINGAPORE: Two Malaysian golfers – Nicholas Fung and Ervin Chang – made the cut for the third round of the SMBC Singapore Open after they survived the cut-off which was set at one-under 141.

Nicholas, who is ranked 54th on the Asian Tour, was consistent with his approach as he carded three-under 68 in the second round to be placed joint sixth with a score of 136 at the Sentosa Golf Course yesterday.

He carded four birdies in the fourth, 10th, 17th and 18th holes and one bogey in the second round.

“This is my best 36-hole score here. I’m pleased with the way I played. I don’t have many expectations for this week. This is the first event of the season. I just told myself to do my best.

“I stuck to my game plan and tried not to be too aggressive. Just fairways, greens and make the putts – that’s it. I’m just riding on my good form from last year,” said Nicholas.

In the third round, Nicholas teed off with 2012 and 2016 Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III and world No. 71 Shaun Norris and started well as he had seven pars and one birdie in his first nine holes which brought him to fourth in the leaderboard standings.

However, his next nine holes proved to be unlucky as he got three bogeys, which saw him drop to joint 26th on the leaderboard. He carded two-over 73 in the third round as his current total score stands at 209.

As for Ervin Chang, his second-round display proved to be a nervy one as he had three bogeys in the second, fifth and 10th holes and a double bogey in the 18th hole. He carded a two-over 73 and made the cut by finishing joint 53rd with a total score of 141.

In the third round, even though he was one the last few golfers to make the cut, he proved his billing as one of the top young golfers in Malaysia as he notched six birdies to finish the day in tied 16th spot with 208.

Both Ervin and Nicholas will have another round of golf to play today as they look to better Gavin Kyle Green’s performance last year, where he finished tied eighth in the tournament.

The first two days saw inclement weather taking centre stage but the third day proved to be a beautiful one as golfers in the third round enjoyed the clear skies and a steady and gentle breeze at the course.

Ben Leong, Shahriffuddin Ariffin and Danny Chia failed to make the cut as they could not meet the required one-under 141 cut-off mark.

Danny carded one-under 70 in the second round but it was not enough as he had a total score of 144.

Ben, who was battling with his rhythm, had one-over 72 in the second round while Shahriffuddin managed only seven-over 78.

It was a disappointing outing for Shahriffuddin as he could not repeat his 2018 performance, where he made the cut in his first appearance.

“For me, this is a learning curve. I have to adjust to the green speeds in the future. The weather certainly affected my performance as there were many stop-starts in the first two days,” he said.

The US$1mil (RM4.1mil) SMBC Singapore Open is the season-opening event on the Asian and Japan Tours.

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