American Matt Kuchar maintained a two-shot lead on day three of the Fiji International Saturday after firing a three-under 69, his first sub-par round of the tournament.
The world number 16 was at one-under 215 after 54 holes, two shots ahead of Australian Aron Price who matched Kuchar's 69 in blustery conditions.
Another Australian, Nick Cullen, was six strokes off the pace in third place, ahead of New Zealanders Ryan Fox and Brad Shilton.
Local hero Vijay Singh, the three-time major winner who designed the Natadola Bay golf course where the event is being played, was in a five-way tie for sixth place after shooting a one-under 71.
The Fiji event is co-sanctioned by OneAsia and the Australasian PGA.
Leading third-round scores (Australian unless stated)
215 – Matt Kuchar (USA) 74-72-69
217 – Aron Price 78-70-69
221 – Nick Cullen 74-76-71
222 – Ryan Fox (NZL) 76-73-73
223 – Brad Shilton (NZL) 77-76-70
224 – Vijay Singh (FIJ) 78-75-71, Peter Wilson 76-76-72, James Nitties 75-77-72, Scott Laycock 75-75-74, Ryan Haller 79-75-70
Matt Kuchar sinks putt on second hole of Fiji International… and he didn't even have to touch the ball. http://t.co/fwnxge8PJ5
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 16, 2015
Taiwan’s Hung Chien-yao stormed into the lead on the second day of the Venetian Macao Open on Friday with a seven-under-par 64, but was still only one shot ahead of the tournament’s defending champion.
The 23-year-old’s stunning round at the Macau Golf and Country Club, which included seven birdies, propelled him to his first-ever lead on the Asian tour, in a tournament that has also seen four-time Major winner Ernie Els and two-time Macao Open champion Zhang Lian-wei miss the cut at the halfway mark.
“Everything feels good,” said Hung, whose overall score was a 10-under-par 132.
“I didn’t push myself and didn’t tell myself that I have to play good. I was relaxed and enjoyed the day.”
One shot behind after two days of golf were defending tournament champion Anirban Lahiri, as well as South Korea’s Jeunghun Wang, India’s Chiragh Kumar and Brazil’s Adilson Da Silva.
Thailand’s Thitiphun Chuayprakong, who was in the lead after the first day of the $1 million (880,000-euro) tournament, struggled on day two with a 71.
— Asian Tour (@asiantourgolf) October 16, 2015
Leading scores (par 71)
132 – Hung Chien-yao (TPE) 68-64
133 – Anirban Lahiri (IND) 66-67, Jeunghun Wang (KOR) 65-68, Chiragh Kumar (IND) 67-66, Adilson Da Silva (BRA) 68-65
134 – Scott Hend (AUS) 66-68, Sam Brazel (AUS) 68-66
135 – Thitiphun Chuayprakong (THA) 64-71, Rahil Gangjee (IND) 67-68, Lee Sung (KOR) 70-65, Rashid Khan (IND) 70-65
The last PGA Tour season ended 17 days ago and the European Tour season has another six weeks to run, but Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose are among the players starting the new PGA Tour season this week.
The Frys.com Open would not usually be able to call on players ranked third and seventh in the world given its position in the calendar, coming so soon after the Tour Championship in Atlanta and before the lucrative Final Series.
However, McIlroy and Rose were among eight players who entered a non-sanctioned match play event called the Turkish Airlines World Golf Final in October 2012, which was staged at the same time as the Frys.com Open.
And in return for being granted a release to play in Turkey – where Rose won $1.5million – all eight players had to agree to make the trip to Napa in California at least once during the next three years.
I’d buy ticket watch this live: Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Brandt Snedeker grouped over first two rounds of PGA Tour season opener in Napa.
— Steve Elling (@EllingYelling) October 14, 2015
McIlroy, Rose and major winners Charl Schwartzel and Webb Simpson have left it until now to fulfil their obligations, with Lee Westwood, Hunter Mahan and Matt Kuchar having already played.
Tiger Woods was due to compete this week but has been ruled out until 2016 due to a second back operation. Also in the field is American Scott Stallings, who is free to compete again after serving a three-month suspension for violating the PGA Tour’s anti-drug policy.
Stallings reported himself to the Tour after realising a supplement he had been taking to combat chronic fatigue was prohibited. The 30-year-old, who was ranked 154th in the world at the time of his ban, is now 209th.