MALAYSIAN golfer Gavin Kyle Green shaved off three-strokes from a disastrous 82 yesterday to record a round of seven-over-par 79 to finish on joint 67th at the CJ Cup @ Nine Bridges in South Korea, just moments ago.
The 23-year-old, who is aiming to become the first Malaysian to win the Asian Tour Order of Merit, started the third round on the back nine and was on a high when he scored a birdie on the 12th and an eagle on the 14th.
Despite two bogeys on the front nine, the 2017 Taiwan Masters victor could not have anticipated two double and three bogeys on the front nine to close his round at 11-over-par 227 alongside Sweden’s Jonas Blixt, Wang Juenghun of South Korea and American JB Holmes.
But it was Gavin’s flight mate at last weekend’s CIMB Classic, Justin Thomas, who sneaked back into the top of the leaderboard with a round of two-under-par 70 to finish at nine-under-par 207 and shares the lead with America’s Scott Brown.
The reigning FedExCup champion pulled a double bogey on the eighth but managed to recover his game with five birdies for a two-stroke advantage over India’s Anirban Lahiri and Australian Marc Leishman on tied third.
Brown birdied the final hole to move into a tie for the lead as he seeks his second victory on the PGA Tour to go along with his 2013 win at the Puerto Rico Open.
Starting the third round five shots back, Anirban carded four birdies against a lone bogey for a three-under-par 69 to move up to tied third as he looks for his maiden win on Tour.
The 72-hole stroke play inaugural event will culminate tomorrow as the US$9.25million (RM39.1million) tournament offers 500 FedExCup points, two-year Tour exemption and an invitation to the 2018 Sentry Tournament of Champions for the winner.