Port Dickson, October 16: Thailand’s Natthapong Niyomchon blitzed the field at the PGM-ASEAN PGA
PD Championship on Friday with a superb six-under-par 65 giving him a two-stroke lead heading into the final round.
Natthapong, who led after the first round following a 66 but dropped to joint second after Thursday’s 70, played near
flawless golf to zero in on his first ASEAN PGA Tour title.
He sits on 12-under 201, two ahead of Michael Bibat of the Philippines who birdied the final two holes for a 67 to stay in the hunt at Port Dickson Golf & Country Club.
Thailand’s Nattawat Suvajanakorn zoomed up the leaderboard with a 66 to claim third place, a shot behind Bibat.
Halfway leader Nirun Sae-Ueng, also of Thailand, looked to have fallen out of contention with three bogeys and just a single birdie in 15 holes but another birdie on the 16th and an eagle three at the last hole saw him sign for a 70.
The promising 20 year old, winner of the PGM Sabah Championship in May, is four shots off the pace in fourth spot.
Natthapong made his move with a front nine of 31, including three birdies in a row from the third hole and another at the eighth.
Further birdies on the 11th and 15th saw him stretch his lead but he faltered momentarily with his only bogey of the day at the 17th, before finishing with a birdie.
The 26-year-old Natthapong is currently 15th on the ASEAN PGA Tour Order of Merit with his best finish coming at the PGM-ASEAN PGA UMW Impian Championship, where he was fourth.
Bibat, bronze medallist at the 2006 Asian Games before turning professional, had three birdies on the trot from the second hole before a run of pars. He dropped a stroke at the 13th ahead of making up ground on the leader with his birdie, birdie finish.