Excited Chan aims to stay in front

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 18 September, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 18 September, 2011, 12:00am


Taiwan's Chan Yih-shin finds himself in uncharted waters - on the verge of his first wire-to-wire victory on the Asian Tour - after taking a one-shot lead into the final round of the Macau Open today.

The genial Chan has led from the outset, sharing the lead with three others at the end of the first round before taking the outright lead at the end of the second and retaining it in the third round. But all that will matter now is whether he can be in front when play ends today at the picturesque 18th hole at the Macau Golf and Country Club.

'If I said I wasn't under pressure today, I would be a big liar,' grinned Chan (pictured). 'And I expect the pressure to be even more [today]. I have not been in contention to win a tournament for the last two or three years, and I feel excited.'

Chan, who began the day with just a one-shot lead, finished in similar fashion after carding a three-under-par 68 to aggregate 12-under 201 and hold off Finland's Joonas Granberg, who is 11 under after also shooting 68.

Two shots behind Chan are South Korean Mo Joong-kyung and Swede Rikard Karlberg who made 65 and 68 to push into contention. Indian Jeev Milka Singh, Zaw Moe of Myanmar, Thai Thanyakon Khrongpha and Australia's Adam Groom were all tied in fifth position five shots off the pace on seven under.

Chan defended his one-stroke lead stoutly until the 12th hole when he made his first slip-up, a bogey, to drop a shot and draw level with Granberg.

'I missed six birdie putts from the fourth to the ninth holes but I didn't hold back. I didn't let it get me down as I know you need patience on this course,' Chan said.

'When I made the bogey, I buried it inside me, and kept smiling. It was hurting inside but I didn't let it show.' His patient approach worked as he recovered his dropped shot on the 13th. Granberg, also in the final flight, dropped shots at the 13th and 14th to go eight under but picked up birdies on the 15th and 17th.

Both players were tied entering the last hole which each of them had eagled over the previous two rounds. But any hopes of a repeat didn't materialise either, although Chan sunk an eight-footer for a birdie to grab the outright lead.

Granberg said: 'It doesn't matter that I will be chasing the leader. I need to concentrate on my game and not worry about what he's doing.'