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.
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.