Eagle lifts golfer Rashid to a high

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's top professional golfer Mohd Rashid Ismail rode in with an eagle in the third round of the Malaysian PGA Golf Championships to set a sensational course record of six-under 66 at the Seri Selangor Golf Club yesterday. 

Rashid had a bogey on the third but he was quick to recover with a birdie on the fifth.  

He went on to card birdies in the seventh, 13th, 14th, and 16th holes before ending with an eagle to erase the old record of three-under 69, which was set by Airil Rizman in 2003. 

SENSATIONAL: Rashid leads by nine strokes going into the final round of the Malaysian PGA Golf championships today.

The superb round virtually seals the title for the 32-year-old Rashid in the RM80,000 tournament.  

The total of 209 gives him a nine-stroke lead over V. Sureshkumar, who shot a two-over 74 yesterday. 

Another stroke adrift on 219 are Japanese H. Yoshida, Singaporean Lam Chih Bing and Taiwanese Hsieh Tung-shu. 

Rashid felt that the performance yesterday put him on the right track for a good showing in the upcoming Malaysian Open, which will be held at the Saujana Golf and Country Club from Feb 17-20. 

“This is an unbelievable day for me. I even surprised myself,” said a jubilant Rashid. 

“I started with a bogey and I had to be cautious. But after I sank a birdie on the fifth and another from a difficult position on the seventh, I regained my confidence and everything went so well for me. 

“I shot an eagle on the final hole, claimed the course record. The day cannot be better for me. 

“I have a comfortable lead and I will try to maintain my good form to win the title. This is certainly a good warm-up for the Malaysian Open.” 

Defending champion Airil chalked up his best card in the tournament with a one-under 71 and the total of 221 put him in joint sixth spot with Australian Martyn Roberts. 

Danny Chia, who has a bout of flu, shot a three-over 75 for a total of 222.  

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