Chia keeps nose ahead at CIMB National Championship

July 27: Danny Chia maintained his overnight one-shot lead at the CIMB National Championship after scrambling to a one-over-par 73 in the third round.

The 44-year-old Chia fought back from a mid-round wobble at TPC Kuala Lumpur where he dropped four shots on the 12th and 13th holes to stay in position to win the RM200,000 tournament which rewards the winner with a ticket to the US$7 million CIMB Classic this October 12 to 15.

Rookie Amir Nazrin Jailani and Ben Leong shot 72 and 71 respectively to lie one shot back  while defending champion Gavin Green stayed within striking distance following a 72 in joint fourth place with Wilson Choo.

Chasing a sixth appearance at the CIMB Classic, which is the only PGA Tour event staged in Southeast Asia, veteran Chia needed a crucial birdie on 17 to keep his nose ahead of the chasing pack with his three-day total of five-under-par 211.

Last year’s runner-up, Leong rued a cold putter as he snared three birdies against two bogeys to stay in the chase a second appearance at the CIMB Classic while the 20-year-old Amir shot three birdies against as many bogeys to tie Leong on 212.

A 20-foot birdie conversion at the par five 18th hole pushed Green, 23, into a share of fourth place on 214, three behind Chia.

Leading third round scores

211: Danny Chia 68-70-73

212: Ben Leong 65-76-71, Amir Nazrin Jailani 69-71-72,

214: Gavin Green 72-70-72, Wilson Choo 69-71-74

215: Sukree Othman 70-69-76

216: Rashid Ismail 74-20-72

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