Chan edges clear in Taiwan

Chinese Taipei's Chan Shih-chang held on to his lead with a battling two-under-par 70 at the third round of the Yeangder Tournament Players Championship (TPC).

Golf News: Chan Shih-chang

Chan, who shared the overnight lead with Malaysia's Khor Kheng Hwai, signed for a three-day total of seven-under-par 209 to take a two-shot lead over compatriot Lu Wen-teh (71) at the US$300,000 full field Asian Tour event.

Mars Pucay of the Philippines added a 71 to his previous rounds of 70 and 71 to take third place while Khor played through the pain barrier to post a 74 and secured fourth place at the Linkou International Golf Club.

Chan reached the turn in 35 after an opening birdie on the par-five first. The Chinese Taipei player continued to birdie the 10th hole before dropping a shot on the par-three 11th.

Despite the strong winds blowing many players off course, Chan managed to recover with another birdie on the 13th hole before making pars on his remaining five holes to reach home in 70.

"It was hard to control the movement of the ball with the strong winds. They were going all over the place today but I'm happy that I managed to hold on to my lead going into the final round tomorrow," said Chan.

Lu, a five-time Asian Tour winner, also conceded that the windy conditions made play very difficult and he had to make adjustments to his playing strategy.

"It was not easy today especially with these conditions," said the 48-year-old veteran who began his outward nine with two bogeys and a birdie.

Lu managed to cope better when he embarked on a bogey-free homerun with birdies on the 12 and 16 holes.

"I got used to the playing conditions at the back-nine and made adjustments to my shots which certainly helped," said Lu.

Meanwhile Pucay kept up his charge for his maiden Asian Tour title.

Pucay parred his opening three holes before making his first birdie on the fourth hole. He continued to make pars on the rest of the holes before reaching the turn in 35.

The Filipino dropped his first shot on the par-four 14th but responded quickly with another birdie on the 15th hole.

He was left to rue another birdie miss at the 16th hole which would have taken him to five-under after his putt missed the cup narrowly by only a few inches.

"That was a really long putt and it was a pity that it just missed the cup by a bit. But to be able to shoot under-par on a day like this is good," said Pucay.

"The winds were really strong but I kept hitting my balls low and I guess that helped," added the Filipino.

Khor demonstrated great sporting resilience despite having to endure the painful effects of a leg cramp in his right leg.

"I'm really proud of myself. It's not so much about my game today but it's more about the way I conducted myself. I told myself never to give up and I'm glad that I managed to finish all 18 holes today," said Khor.

Khor opened promisingly with two birdies on the first and second holes. The Malaysian however, squandered his lead with three successive bogeys starting from the seventh hole.

He limped through the turn but displayed character by answering with birdies on the 10th and 13th holes. Three bogeys on holes 11, 14 and 16 in his inward-nine however left him four shots adrift of Chan with 18 holes left to play in the final round.

"I could barely walk after hitting my first tee shot. I just sat down right away on the tee box and it was really painful," said Khor.

"I managed to make several good recovery shots today and I think that has also kept me going. I just want to maintain my focus for tomorrow and the rest will take care of itself," added the Malaysian.

Leading third round scores
209 - CHAN Shih-chang (TPE) 72-67-70.
211 - LU Wen-teh (TPE) 70-70-71.
212 - Mars PUCAY (PHI) 70-71-71.
213 - KHOR Kheng Hwai (MAS) 71-68-74.
214 - LIN Wen-hong (TPE) 74-69-71, LU Wei-chih (TPE) 70-73-71.
215 - Adam GROOM (AUS) 71-73-71, HSIEH Tung-shu (TPE) 72-70-73, Chapchai NIRAT (THA) 69-71-75.
216 - CHEN Hao-sen (TPE) 69-72-75.

Selected scores
218 - Thaworn WIRATCHANT (THA) 73-68-77

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