Aphibarnrat up by 1 at suspended Malaysian Open
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – For the third straight day, play at the Malaysian Open was suspended due to inclement weather.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat stands alone atop the leaderboard at 11-under par through two holes of the third round. He will go for his first European Tour title on Sunday.
The suspension on Saturday marked the third straight day weather halted play. With all the delays, the tournament has been reduced to 54 holes. The third, and now final, round will resume at 9:45 a.m. local time on Sunday.
Former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel is one stroke off the pace at minus-10. He is in the final group with Aphibarnrat, but it won't be a two-man race for the title at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club.
Anders Hansen was 4-under through eight holes of the third round to climb into a share of third place at 9-under par. He was joined there by Peter Lawrie, Edoardo Molinari, three-time major champion Padraig Harrington, Victor Dubuisson, Gregory Bourdy and Ashun Wu.
Aphibarnrat, who finished fourth last week in his first tour start of the year at the Avantha Masters, carded a bogey-free second round with back-to-back birdies at three and four, and another birdie at the ninth.
At that point Friday, the round was suspended for the day. Aphibarnrat returned to the course Saturday and parred eight in a row before a birdie at the 18th put him at 11-under par through two rounds.
"My first birdie came on my last hole, I didn't get a good start," Aphibarnrat said after the second round. "I think the greens were a little slower than yesterday, but my game was still good."
The Thailand native led by two at the start of the third round. He opened round three with a birdie at the first, but gave that stroke back with a bogey on the second before play was halted for the day with his group on the third.
That bogey was the first for Aphibarnrat since his third hole, No. 12, in the first round.
Schwartzel played 25 holes on Friday. He got in the final seven holes of his first round in before carding a 4-under 68 in round two. When the third round finally started Saturday, the 2011 Masters champion managed to play just two holes.
The South African opened with a birdie at the first then a par on No. 2 before play was called for the day.
NOTES: This event was also shortened by weather in 2006 ... The season-opening Nelson Mandela Championship back in December was also shortened by weather ... The cut was made earlier in the day Saturday when the second round was finally completed and among those that failed to make the third round were Michael Campbell, world No. 3 Luke Donald, Simon Dyson and Maarten Lafeber.