Saturday, December 20, 2014




Indian duo Shiv Kapur and Arjun Atwal will step into the last day of the season at the inaugural Dubai Open holding the joint lead with South Africa’s Jbe Kruger and South Korean teenager Wang Jeung-hun after an exhilarating third round today.
No fewer than 21 players, all within three shots of the lead, will have a chance of lifting the top prize at the majestic Els Club Dubai including Major winner Darren Clarke, pictured, of Northern Ireland who fired a stunning 64 to end the day one shot back of the leading quartet.
Power-packed Kruger also shot a 64, the week’s lowest, following a card that included the Dubai Open’s first hole-in-one and an eagle while 19-year-old Wang, who has not missed a single cut this season, shot a 68 to put himself in contention for a maiden Asian Tour victory.
Co-overnight leader Kapur, a Dubai resident, overcame two early bogeys with an inward 31 and a 69 and stayed in the joint lead on 10-under-par 206 with Atwal, who mixed six birdies against two bogeys for a 68.
Six players lie a stroke back, including Thailand’s Chapchai Nirat (67) and Pariya Junhasavasdikul (67), Japan’s Daisuke Kataoka (68), India’s Gaganjeet Bhullar (69) and Scotsman Simon Yates (69).
Two-time Asian Tour number one Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand, who has won twice this year, fired a 65 to lie on 208 in what promises to be a fantastic finish to the 2014 Asian Tour season.
Kruger, who pulled tractor wheels up and down a hill near his farm house in South Africa to gain power, said he left some shots out on the course despite nailing a seven iron for his ace on the par three second hole. 
“I hit a seven iron but probably pitched perfect and probably trickled down,” said Kruger, who is a one-time winner in Asia. “I three-putted 17 and I probably hit it inside of 10 feet probably five times and didn't make one.  So it could have been a lot lower. But you can't complain with a round like that. I'm glad I'm in contention to actually try and win, but it all comes down to the day and all comes down to putting."
The 19-year-old Wang has proven to be one of the revelations of the season where he hasn’t missed a single cut all year. Six birdies against four two bogeys put him into uncharted territory as he seeks to end his year on a winning note.
“I just don't want to get pressure. I’ll be nervous. I will try to play my own game tomorrow. My putter improved so much and then my iron shot was good,” said Wang, who has three top-10s this year.
Clarke, who won the Open in 2011, charged up the leaderboard with with six birdies and chip-in eagle on the par four 16th hole. “I've played really well all week but made no putts and made a mess of the last hole, the ninth yesterday (for double). Hit an awful lot of good shots and holed a couple of putts today,” said Clarke.
“I shot two 64s in a Pro Am event in Turkey two weeks ago, the Banco Classic, so I'm playing better again which is nice. I'm here to play. I'm not here to make up the numbers. My timing has been off a little bit because of all the weight that I've lost.  So because of that, it's taken a bit of time and it's starting to come back now.”
Scot Simon Yates is on the same 207 mark as Darren Clarke after rounds of 71, 67 and 69.
Par 216 (3x72) Yardage: 7,538
206 Jbe KRUGER (RSA) 70-72-64, WANG Jeung-hun (SKOR) 71-67-68, Arjun ATWAL (IND) 73-65-68, Shiv KAPUR (IND) 71-66-69.
207 Darren CLARKE (NIR) 72-71-64, Chapchai NIRAT (THA) 71-69-67, Pariya JUNHASAVASDIKUL (THA) 68-72-67, Daisuke KATAOKA (JPN) 73-66-68, Simon YATES (SCO) 71-67-69, Gaganjeet BHULLAR (IND) 69-69-69.
208 Thaworn WIRATCHANT (THA) 74-69-65, Thitiphun CHUAYPRAKONG (THA) 70-71-67.
209 Javi COLOMO (ESP) 69-73-67, Matthew FITZPATRICK (ENG) 70-71-68, Nicholas FUNG (MAS) 71-70-68, Panuphol PITTAYARAT (THA) 69-72-68, MO Joong-kyung (KOR) 70-71-68, Joonas GRANBERG (FIN) 72-69-68, Bryce EASTON (RSA) 69-71-69, Joshua WHITE (ENG) 71-68-70, Prom MEESAWAT (THA) 71-68-70.
211 Thammanoon SRIROJ (THA) 72-72-67, Poosit SUPUPRAMAI (THA) 72-72-67, Carlos PIGEM (ESP) 70-73-68, Namchok TANTIPOKHAKUL (THA) 71-72-68, Marcus BOTH (AUS) 70-71-70, LAM Chih Bing (SIN) 67-74-70.



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