See-saw in the sun
Hansen surges into joint lead with Panuphol on moving day
Standing in the rough across the cart path from the fairway of the 16th hole, Felipe Aguilar threw his club into the air, then swung his arm out wildly, managing to catch it before it hit the ground.
Just one stroke off the lead after day two of The Championship, the Chilean took the outright lead yesterday, after two consecutive birdies on the 11th and 12th holes at Laguna National's Masters course.
But it did not last long.
He lost the plot at the very next hole, finding the water on the 13th for a double-bogey, and ending day three with an even-par 72 - five shots off joint leaders Panuphol Pittayarat and Anders Hansen.
"For me it was a day of ups and downs. I missed a lot of greens early, then hit two good birdies and I was even in the lead," Aguilar told The New Paper.
"But then, I found the water (on the 13th) and that put the brakes on there. That was painful."
It was a similar story for flight-mate Scott Hend. The Aussie was also one shot off the lead after day two, and started with three birdies and a bogey on the front nine.
He carded a bogey and a double-bogey on a birdie-less back nine that saw him rip his glove off in anger, ending the day at 73, and five shots off the lead.
While yesterday's see-saw was not kind to Aguilar and Hend, Hansen and Robert-Jan Derksen ended the day on the up.
Dane Hansen fired three birdies on the last four holes to card a 67 to go to 16 under at the US$1.5 million ($1.88m) event co-sanctioned by the European and Asian Tours, and share the overnight lead with Thailand's Panuphol.
"You've got to give yourself chances and I felt I didn't really give myself many chances today. It was a bit tricky with the grain and I always left myself in the wrong spot," said Hansen.
"But it was nice to finish with those three birdies... every time you are up there, you have to be pleased."
Derksen carded eight birdies, but was dragged down by poor putting that tempered his round with three bogeys.
"I'm playing really well and hitting it nice from the tee and to the green. I'm still struggling a bit on the greens," he said.
"There is plenty of good stuff though, and hopefully I can get rid of the bad stuff (today)."
Through all the hectic movement on the leaderboard, and the frazzled nerves of flight-mates Aguilar and Hend, Panuphol - nicknamed "Coconut" - displayed zen-like cool, even managing to better his day two score.
He carded a 69, one better than his Friday showing, for a 16-under total -and a share of the lead going into today's final day of play.
"They (Aguilar and Hend) were losing it towards the end, but it didn't bother me - I didn't even know what their scores were," said the 21-year-old, who has missed the cut in all three tournaments he has played this year.
"I just didn't get in their way and (concentrated on) playing my golf.
"For a guy who has missing out three times in a row (this year), I'm playing well and leading - I'm happy."
But hope remained, even for those who came up short on moving day.
"You can shoot a nine or 10 under on this course," said Aguilar.
"I'm definitely still in it."
200: Anders Hansen 67-66-67, Panuphol Pittayarat 63-68-69.
202: Robert-Jan Derksen 68-67-67, David Lipsky 64-68-70.
203: Gregory Bourdy 66-70-67, Chris Wood 68-67-68.
204: Tommy Fleetwood 68-67-69, Terry Pilkadaris 68-70-66, Rahil Gangjee 66-67-71, Felipe Aguilar 65-67-72.
205: Johan Edfors 70-67-68, Anirban Lahiri 67-70-68, Arnond Vongvnij 65-69-71, Baek Seuk Hyun 66-67-72, Scott Barr 66-72-67, Scott Hend 67-65-73.
210: Lam Chih-Bing 71-67-72, Quincy Quek 64-74-72.
It was a bit tricky with the grain and I always left myself in the wrong spot. But it was nice to finish with those three birdies... every time you are up there, you have to be pleased.
- Anders Hansen
Double-bogey jolt for Lam and Quek
The only two golfers left flying the Republic's flag at The Championship, were let down by a double-bogey each at Laguna National's Masters course yesterday.
Lam Chih Bing and Quincy Quek were tied on six-under 138 after day two of the tournament, and remained inseparable after three days of competition in the US$1.5 million ($1.88m) event co-sanctioned by the European and Asian Tours.
Carding even-par 72s, the Singaporean duo go into today's final round tied for 50th position with three others, 10 shots behind leaders Anders Hansen and Panuphol Pittayarat.
Starting on the back nine yesterday, Lam failed to score in his first seven holes, then double-bogeyed the par-three 17th, hit a bogey on the par-four third, but recovered strongly with three birdies in his last six holes.
Quek's day three was more of a roller-coaster ride with peaks and troughs, including a double-bogey on the par-three fifth.
- SHAMIR OSMAN