Saturday, March 12, 2016

Aussie Hend's late birdies give him

two-stroke lead in Thailand Classic

Scott Hend will take a two-shot lead into the final round of the True Thailand Classic Presented by Chang after battling to a two under par 70 in windy conditions at Black Mountain Golf Club.
On a day when scoring proved more difficult in Hua Hin due to the breeze, the Australian was level par for the day and in a tie for the lead with American Peter Uihlein as he stood on the 15th tee.
But two birdies in his final four holes moved Hend to 14 under and into pole position to claim a second European Tour title on Sunday.
Hend held the 54-hole lead in the inaugural staging of this event last year before countryman Andrew Dodt overturned a four-shot deficit to claim victory, and will face the challenge of a strong chasing pack once again on day four.

"It’s just another round of golf for me tomorrow," he said. "It’s a long season.
"We practise for a result, we practise to try and get a win, we try to get ourselves in this position to have a win. If you’re not in this position, you get upset with yourself.
"It was a good grind. Out of ten, I felt like two out of ten, felt really tired, no energy.
"I knew it was going to be a tough day, very windy, so I’m very pleased."
American Uihlein, who is battling a wrist injury, carded a 69 to emerge as the nearest challenger and is also in the hunt for a second title off the back of two top tens.
Thomas Pieters mastered the conditions in a 66 to move to 11 under alongside Swede Pelle Edberg, who finished birdie-birdie to get himself back into contention on the course where he practises in the winter.
Frenchman Benjamin Hebert, American David Lipsky and South African Shaun Norris were then at ten under, a shot clear of Thai pair Prom Meesawat and Panuphol Pittayarat, and Scot Simon Yates.
Overnight leaders Hend and Edberg could not be separated as they turned in level par and Uihlein made a third birdie of the day on the ninth to get himself into the leading group, shortly before Pieters parred the last to sign for a second consecutive 66.

The big-hitting Belgian had earlier made birdies on the first, second, seventh, tenth, 12th and 13th to vault himself into contention.
Uihlein bogeyed the 12th for the third consecutive day but got the shot back on the 13th and, while Hend edged ahead on the 13th courtesy of a 20-foot putt, he dropped a shot at the next.
But the 43 year old came to life with a brilliant chip-in on the 15th and when he took advantage of the drivable par four 17th, the lead was two shots.
Edberg had four bogeys and three birdies on his back nine as he fought his way to a 73, with Lipsky and Norris matching each others' scores for the third day in a row with a pair of 71s.
Hebert birdied the last to sign for a 70, with Messawat carding a 70, Yates a 72, and Pittayarat recording a 74.

SCOTSWATCH (By Colin Farquharson):  Malaysia-based Scot Simon Yates is holding down a top-10 place despite a third-round 72. He is five shots off the lead. Yates had a double bogey 6 at the 16th.
Marc Warren also had a par 72 to remain a stroke behind Yates on 208. Warren birdied 10 and 18.
Scott Jamieson is T34 on 212 with a third-round 70 in which he birdied the 17th and 18th to move under par for the day.

Par 216 (3x72) Yardage: 7,492

202 Scott HEND (AUS) 68-64-70.

204 Peter UIHLEIN (USA) 64-71-69.

205 Thomas PIETERS (BEL) 73-66-66, Pelle EDBERG (SWE) 65-67-73.

206 - Benjamin HEBERT (FRA) 72-64-70, Shaun NORRIS (RSA) 67-68-71, David LIPSKY (USA) 67-68-71.

207 Prom MEESAWAT (THA) 68-70-69, Simon YATES (SCO) 67-68-72, Panuphol PITTAYARAT (THA) 68-65-74.

208 Rikard KARLBERG (SWE) 69-71-68, Thongchai JAIDEE (THA) 69-69-70, Joost LUITEN (NED) 70-68-70, Marc WARREN (SCO) 68-68-72, Piya SWANGARUNPORN (THA) 68-68-72.

209 Thanyakon KHRONGPHA (THA) 70-70-69, Joakim LAGERGREN (SWE) 68-71-70, Gregory HAVRET (FRA) 69-70-70, Nicolas COLSAERTS (BEL) 73-66-70, Robert DINWIDDIE (ENG) 67-71-71, Rashid KHAN (IND) 70-66-73.

212 Scott Jamieson (Sco) 66 76 70 (T34)



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