(Reuters) - Thailand’s Thanyakon Khrongpha recovered from two consecutive bogies to fire a five-under-par 67 for a two-stroke lead after the penultimate round of the Chiangmai Golf Classic on Saturday.
Thanyakon’s round of seven birdies and two bogies took his three-day total to 15-under 201, chased by Indian duo of Rashid Khan and overnight leader Jyoti Randhawa at joint second.
Australian rookie Kalem Richardson, who carded a bogey-free 64 and his compatriot Scott Barr were a further shot back on 12-under.
After bogies on the 11th and 12th hole, Thanyakon bounced back superbly to sink three consecutive birdies and then gained another shot on the last to increase his advantage at the top of the leaderboard.
“I’m feeling a little nervous but I think there is more excitement than pressure,” the 24-year-old, eyeing his first Tour title, told reporters. “It has been quite some time since I led in an Asian Tour event.
“I felt a little angry with myself after I bogeyed 11th and 12th. I could have avoided it but I told myself to get over it and I’m glad I was able to recover strong.”
India’s Khan had a superb back nine, where he gained five shots, and signed for a six-under-par 66 to stay in hunt of the title.
“I was struggling with my irons and gave myself long putts which was a bit frustrating,” Khan said. “I kept myself patient and I’m trying not to lose my temper on the course.
“I’ve talked about this with my mental coach and I’m starting to see the results.”
Last season’s Order of Merit winner and local favorite Kiradech Aphibarnrat kept his title hopes alive with a bogey-free 66 while 2013 PGA Championship champion American Jason Dufner slipped to tied 24th with a 73.
Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly; editing by Amlan Chakraborty