Indian golfer Rashid Khan missed a bunch of putts and slipped from sole lead to third but still stayed in contention at the $650,000 Mercuries Taiwan Masters here on Saturday. (Rashid Khan takes lead after second round)
Rashid, who led by one after the second round, had just one birdie against four bogeys in his 75 and was at three-under 213.
He was two behind the new leader, veteran Liang Wen-Chong (68), who is five-under 211 and one behind first-round leader Danny Chia (73), who is at four-under 212.
The final round will see the leaders from each of the first three rounds go out together in the lead group. Rashid and Danny Chia will be playing together for the fourth successive round this week.
Meanwhile, among the other four Indians who made the cut, Himmat Rai (73) improved from overnight 26th to 19th while Gaganjeet Bhullar (76-72-74) moved from 26th to 25th. S Chikka (77) slipped from 26th to 39th and Chiragh Kumar (78) slipped from 26th to 44th.
Two-time winner on Asian Tour, Rashid said, “I putted really bad. I missed a lot of putts for pars and birdies. I three-putted on a few occasions as well which was really disappointing. Driving was off as well. The conditions were easier compared to yesterday but it was still playing tough for me out there as I struggled with my short game.”
But he was not giving up, as he added, “I am only two shots back now. I think I still have a chance tomorrow. I will try my best to catch up with the leader tomorrow. I will try and get off to a good start tomorrow and hopefully hang in there to win the tournament.”
Liang, who has three Asian Tour wins and 11 other wins, fired a bogey-free four-under-par 68 under tough conditions to grab a one-shot lead in the penultimate round. Liang, who started the round five shots off the lead, put up a perfect round highlighted by four birdies for a three-day total of five-under-par 211 at the challenging Taiwan Golf and Country Club’s Tamsui course.
Players are vying for a good showing at the Mercuries Taiwan Masters to boost their chances of qualifying for the prestigious CIMB Classic and WGC-HSBC Champions.
As of October 26, the leading four golfers from the Order of Merit will earn starting places in the $8.5 million HSBC Champions in November while the leading 10 players will qualify for the USD seven million CIMB Classic at the end of October.