Singapore - Japan’s Yoshinori Fujimoto had a closing birdie to thank for giving him the outright lead after he signed for a third round five-under-par 66 at the SMBC Singapore Open on Saturday.
The Japanese’s three-day total of 13-under-par 200 gave him a slender one-shot advantage over Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond and England’s Matthew Fitzpatrick who posted rounds of 65 and 66 respectively at the season-opening event of the Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour Organisation (JGTO).
Thailand’s Chapchai Nirat (66) shared fourth place with Korea’s Doyeob Mun (67) and tournament headliner Paul Casey of England (68) on matching 203 total.
Fujimoto showed no signs of fatigue despite having to return early to the Serapong Course at Sentosa Golf Club to complete his remaining 11 holes from his second round. After snatching the second round lead with a 67, the Japanese held onto his pole position by marking his card with four birdies, one eagle and a bogey.
Jazz continued to underline his growing credentials with a scintillating 65 which could possibly see him return to The Open in July as the SMBC Singapore Open is part of The Open Qualifying Series for the third consecutive year.
The 23-year-old finished tied-fourth at the SMBC Singapore Open to qualify for The Open last year and rekindled his affinity for the Serapong course with a flawless round that was highlighted by six birdies.
Thailand’s Chapchai Nirat delighted the local crowd who began to take notice of the four-time Asian Tour winner when he went on a birdie blitz with five birdies in six holes after the turn to surge himself towards the top of the leaderboard at the US$1 million event.
Leading Scores after round 3 of the SMBC Singapore Open being played at the par 71, 7403 Yards Sentosa GC course (am - denotes amateur):
200 - Yoshinori Fujimoto (JPN) 67-67-66.
201 - Jazz Janewattananond (THA) 68-68-65, Matthew Fitzpatrick (ENG) 68-67-66.
203 - Chapchai Nirat (THA) 67-70-66, Doyeob Mun (KOR) 71-65-67, Paul Casey (ENG) 68-67-68.
204 - Poom Saksansin (THA) 65-70-69.
206 - Gunn Charoenkul (THA) 68-71-67.
207 - Prom Meesawat (THA) 69-69-69, Hosung Choi (KOR) 69-69-69, Sihwan Kim (USA) 70-67-70, Shaun Norris (RSA) 69-68-70, Davis Love III (USA) 69-68-70, Shotaro Wada (JPN) 66-70-71, Prayad Marksaeng (THA) 70-71-66.