HARDING STAYS IN THE LEAD AT THE ROYAL CUP
Pattaya, Thailand, July 28: Overnight leader Justin Harding of South Africa battled to a one-over-par 71 to stay atop the leaderboard following the penultimate round od the Royal Cup 2018 on Saturday.
The 32-year-old Harding reeled in 17 straight pars before dropping his first bogey of the week on the 54th hole, reducing his overnight lead to two after compiling a three-day total of 11-under-par 199 at the Phoenix Gold Golf and Country Club.
Defending Champion Shiv Kapur of India propelled into solo second with a 67 while American Jarin Todd posted a 69 to stay three shots off the pace at the US$500,000 event.
Harding who won his first Asian Tour start at the Bank BRI Indonesia Open two weeks ago, rued a cold putter and a wayward tee shot on the last which resulted in his only blemish this week. The South African, however, took pride in his battling performance as he continues to chase for back-to-back wins on the region’s premier Tour.
The Royal Cup is held in honour of His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun, who celebrates his 66th birthday today.
Did you know?
• Justin Harding only made one bogey in his last 54 holes.
• He hit 12 fairways and made 15 greens but struggled with his putter today with 34 putts in his third round.
• The Royal Cup is Harding’s first professional tournament in the Kingdom.
• Shiv Kapur hit 11 fairways and greens in round three.
• Shiv ended an 11-year and four months wait for a second Asian Tour title at the 2017 Yeangder Heritage in Chinese Taipei. He added two more victories at the Panasonic Open India and the Royal Cup in Thailand and became the only player to win thrice on the Asian Tour in 2017.
• He is looking to defend his title successfully for the first time in his career.
• Jarin Todd sits in 27th place on the current Asian Tour Habitat for Humanity Standings.
• Todd has his friend Tyler on his bag this week. They grew up playing golf together at his home course in San Diego.
• Todd played college golf at Sonoma State University where he earned First Team All-American in 2007 and 2008.
• Todd was born in San Diego, California but currently resides in Hua Hin, Thailand.
Justin Harding (Rsa) – Third Round 71 (+1), Total 199 (-11)
It was a strange day honestly. Didn’t enjoy making bogey on the last hole but I played solid. Can’t complain about the way I hit it today guess I was just unlucky today. Hit a couple of bad putts on the back nine but I was never in trouble ever throughout the round.
It’s weird to say but I am actually happy the bogey came because I would’ve actually liked to get the bogey towards the start of the round just to get it out of the way but it is what it is. I misjudged the wind and pulled my shot on that hole.
I let everyone back in it. If I played solidly and made a couple of putts I could’ve maybe ran away with it so I will have more work to do tomorrow.
The front nine is awkward so I was pleased to have made that many pars and kept a steady pace.
I battled to read the greens today. I second guessed myself on a lot of holes so if I were to do anything different tomorrow I would just trust my first line and stick to it.
Shiv Kapur (Ind) – Third Round 67 (-3), Total 201 (-9)
It was a pretty good round, conditions were tough with swirly winds and it was moving in a different direction from the past two rounds.
The greens got firmer and it was tough to hold the ball on the greens and tougher to hole putts.
Nothing much was happening up till hole 14 when I made a good putt to get some momentum going. Had a good chip on hole 16 to make birdie and on 17 I holed a 30-footer for birdie again.
Happy with the way I finished since all the action happened for me on the last five holes. It was just one of those days where you stay patient when the conditions are tough and you get rewarded.
Jarin Todd (Usa) – Third Round 69 (-1), Total 202 (-8)
I didn’t really hit it very well today. But I was scrambling around and made a lot of good up-and-downs. Missed a lot of fairways and greens,
The back nine was so different today because the greens have firmed out. I was struggling make birdies on the first nine.
I missed a lot of birdie opportunities on my first nine. I would like to have been closer to the lead, I’m sure its going to be tough tomorrow and they’re going to put the pins in tough positions.
Chapchai Nirat (Tha) – Third Round 67 (-3), Total 204 (-6)
Today my tee shots helped me a lot and I hit a lot of shots close to the pins today. I struggled with the speed on the greens today and I missed a lot of short putts which I am quite disappointed about.
On hole 13 I three-putted and had bogey and on hole 18 I hit two bad shots in a row. But overall I am in a god position and I am happy with how I played considering the wind.
Scores after round 3 of the Royal Cup 2018 being played at the par 70, 6716 Yards Phoenix Gold GCC course (am – denotes amateur):
199 – Justin HARDING (RSA) 64-64-71.
201 – Shiv KAPUR (IND) 66-68-67.
202 – Jarin TODD (USA) 66-67-69.
203 – Mark BROWN (NZL) 67-68-68, Naoto NAKANISHI (JPN) 64-69-70.
204 – Chapchai NIRAT (THA) 68-69-67, LIU Yanwei (CHN) 68-66-70, Josh YOUNGER (AUS) 65-69-70.
205 – Kurt KITAYAMA (USA) 68-70-67, Travis SMYTH (AUS) 68-68-69, Gaganjeet BHULLAR (IND) 71-65-69, Sattaya SUPUPRAMAI (THA) 67-69-69, Jake MCLEOD (AUS) 70-64-71, Jack WILSON (AUS) 69-62-74.