Hua Hin, Thailand, May 7: Veterans Prayad Marksaeng and Udorn Duangdecha are tied for top spot in the Singha Hua Hin Open heading into the final round after vastly contrasting rounds on Saturday.
Prayad, a multiple winner on the ASEAN PGA, Asian and Japan Tours, shot an error-free five-under 66 to catch overnight leader Udorn whose rollercoaster 70 included a double bogey and an eagle at Royal Hua Hin Golf Club.
The Thai duo are on 11-under 202, a stroke ahead of local hero Prom Meesawat who bogeyed the last to slip out of the lead. He carded a two-under 69.
Unheralded Tirawat Kaewsiribandit, the co-leader after the first round, matched Prayad’s 66 to move within two shots of the lead. Another decorated veteran, Thaworn Wiratchant, is a further shot adrift in fifth place after also shooting 66.
Prayad, joint runner-up with Prom last year, was a picture of perfection with birdies on the third, fifth, ninth, 10 and 13th holes and no dropped shots.
The 50 year old topped the ASEAN PGA Tour Order of Merit last season after two victories and showed again on Saturday that he has not lost any of his ambition despite advancing years.
Udorn, five years Prayad’s junior, held a two-shot lead over Prom at the start of the day but was almost immediately on the back foot with a double bogey at the second.
He recovered brilliantly with an eagle at the next and a birdie on the par-three fifth but two more birdies were cancelled out by bogeys on the ninth and 17th as he fell into a tie for the lead.
Udorn, instantly recognisable on course by his multi-coloured trousers, is looking to add to his title at the 2011 Singha Esan Open on the ASEAN PGA Tour.
Prom, who has finished second here twice in the last three editions, failed to mount a serious challenge but is just one shot adrift and will go out on Sunday with high hopes of winning the elusive title.
The 31-year-old from Hua Hin had four birdies and two bogeys, including the one at the 18th which cost him a share of the lead.
The Singha Hua Hin Open is one of four tournaments jointly sanctioned by the ASEAN PGA Tour and the All Thailand Golf Tour.
The others are the Singha E-San Open, Singha Pattaya Open and Singha Phuket Open.