World Classic Championship set for final flourish
Rahman, Fung ahead, but 'The Beast' can turn things around
American Berry Henson had the lead for a while, as did Danthai Boonma of Thailand.
But it was Bangladesh's Siddikur Rahman and Malaysia's Nicholas Fung who ended the third round of the inaugural US$750,000 ($1.07m) World Classic Championship at Laguna National yesterday atop the leaderboard.
Starting the day on even par, Rahman (above), 30, carded five birdies and three bogeys to sign for a two-under 69, and a 211 total over three days.
He said: "I had even-par for the first two days, so I am quite happy to have a two-under today, since this course is totally different from the others that I've played."
Fung, 25, started the day on one under, carded four birdies - including the ninth and 18th on the Masters course - to share the lead with Rahman going into the last day of the competition.
The Malaysian said: "It's really a difficult course. We started late today and it got windy out there.
"The course conditions just got tougher and tougher. Every hole on this course is tough, except the ninth and the 18th."
But it isn't over till the fat lady sings at Laguna National's course, labelled "The Beast", though.
Rahman and Fung are the third set of clubhouse leaders in three days in the tournament, played on the club's World Classic course, which is dubbed "Asia's Toughest Test" and nicknamed "the Beast".
All the overnight leaders over the three days had the same score - two under.
PATIENCE IS KEY
Both Rahman and Fung said patience will be the key to claiming the US$135,000 winner's cheque today.
Rahman said: "You have to accept bogeys and, sometimes, double-bogeys. The key is to recover after making poor shots. We are all tired and whoever has the strongest stamina and a good mental game has the chance to win tomorrow."
Fung added: "It is still anybody's game; one good score on the last day and he will be the winner.
"The key is to keep the ball in play all the time and not to be too greedy or aggressive."
In addition to negotiating the course today, the joint-leaders would also have to look over their shoulders for the chasing pack.
India's Chikka S, Danthai and Henson are tied for third on even par, while Chapchai Nirat and Chinnarat Phadungsil of Thailand, and American Paul Peterson are each a stroke behind.
"My scores have been improving everyday, which is great," said Chikka, who carded a 67 yesterday.
"I know it's a difficult course, the greens are tricky and there are a lot of slopes coming into play out there.
"But I like this kind of challenge."
Overnight clubhouse leader Scott Barr fell to a 76 to be on joint-15th, while Singapore's only qualifier, Choo Tze Huang (72), is on joint-46th.
211: Siddikur Rahman (71, 71, 69); Nicholas Fung (74, 67, 70)
213: Chikka S (76, 70, 67), Danthai Boonma (72, 69, 72), Berry Henson (70, 70, 73)
214: Chapchai Nirat (76, 69, 69), Paul Peterson (71, 73, 70), Chinnarat Phadungsil (71, 69, 74)
216: Scott Barr (69, 71, 76)
221: SSP Chawrasia (73, 75, 73); Choo Tze Huang (74, 75, 72)