Scott just off the pace at Singapore Open

BY | Asian Tour | 2005 Singapore Open | Round Three | 10 Sep 2005

American Edward Michaels overcame a sore shoulder and a lengthy weather delay to position himself for a career high pay day at the US$2 million Singapore Open on Saturday.

Michaels, last year’s Philippine Open champion, leads ’Asia’s Major by two strokes in six-under-par for the championship through 14 holes of his third round at Sentosa Golf Club’s Serapong course.

A three and a half hour suspension of play because of a lightning storm in the afternoon meant that 15 players will return on Sunday morning to complete their third rounds.

Australia’s world number seven Adam Scott, battling a bout of flu, remained within striking distance – two off the pace alongside compatriot Andrew Buckle and American Anthony Kang.

The talented Scott was one-under for his round through 14 holes while Buckle, the overnight co-leader, was two-over for the day after stumbling with a bogey on six, followed by a costly double bogey on the par five seventh hole.

Last season’s Asian Tour number one Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand birdied the 14th and 15th to move to three under for the championship, three behind Michaels while England’s Lee Westwood stayed in touch with a battling round that included four birdies against three bogeys.

“There are a lot of good players behind me but I’ll just keep on going. It’s a really good opportunity and I will do my best and that’s what this game is all about,” said Michaels, who will resume his third round at the 15th tee tomorrow.

Michaels is playing through the pain barrier because of a ligament injury on his left shoulder but with a top prize of US$315,000 for the champion at stake, he is gritting his teeth.

“This stop and go (because of the weather disruption) is really hard on me. Tomorrow we tee off at 7.40 and I have to be at the locker at 5.30 in the morning to do these exercises to warm it up. Otherwise I can barely get it past my chest. It’ll be a tough day but I’ll be ready. If not for the Tour’s physiotherapist (Sheilagh Anderson) here, I wouldn’t be playing,” said Michaels.

Chasing his third title of the year, the supremely talented Scott appears to be Michael’s biggest threat on Sunday. The young Aussie nailed a glorious two iron to set up an eight-foot eagle on the fourth hole before going on to shoot two more birdies against a two bogeys.

“It is a little disappointing but it was a long day. I could have done a bit better but considering how I’m feeling, it’s alright. I don’t know what I have got but I’ve got something like flu … my body feels sore. I just need to finish this round off well, if I can get two birdies in the last four tomorrow, I’ll be in really good shape to have a go on the final round,” said Scott.

Former paratrooper Thongchai set himself up for a Sunday charge, nailing approach shots to seven and five feet at the 14th and 15th holes respectively to lie three back.

“I am in quite a good position and have a chance to win. I played a lot better today than in the second round.”

“I am not thinking about the Order of Merit (he is in second spot US$65,293 behind countryman Thaworn Wiratchant) during the tournament – I want to win it again but I am concentrating on the Singapore Open,” said Thongchai.

Europe’s Ryder Cup star Lee Westwood matched Thongchai’s birdies on the 14th and 15th holes, draining putts of 18 and 25 feet to remain on the fringe of contention in Asia’s richest national Open.

“I rolled in a few putts after the rain delay. I have still got half a chance of winning. Anything can happen with a day to go – who knows?,” said Westwood.

Australian Alistair Presnell shot a superb 67 for the clubhouse lead at one-over-par 214. Only nine players are presently under par for the championship.

Source – Asian Tour

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