Golf: Siddikur, Fung enjoy two-stroke lead at World Classic Championship

SINGAPORE - Bangladeshi Siddikur Rahman and Malaysian Nicholas Fung crept to the top of the leaderboard after the third round of the World Classic Championship on Saturday at Laguna National.

Siddikur, 30, the first Bangladeshi golfer to win an Asian Tour title back in 2010, shot five birdies against three bogeys to card a 69 for a total of two-under 211 after three rounds.

Fung, 25, fired four birdies, including one at the final 18th hole, and three bogeys for a 70 to join Siddikur at the summit and put himself in pole position to win his first Asian Tour crown.

The duo hold a two-shot lead over Indian S. Chikka (67), Thai Danthai Boonma (72) and American Berry Henson (73), who are joint-second on 213.

Siddikur will be going for his third Asian Tour victory and the winner's cheque of US$135,000 as he heads into Sunday's final round at the inaugural US$750,000 (S$1.07 million) event.

Last week, he came close to winning the Panasonic Open in India, finishing joint runners-up with Thailand's Thaworn Wiratchant, behind champion Chiragh Kumar of India.

Danthai, a 19-year-old Thai golfer playing in his rookie season on the Asian Tour, went three under with three successive birdies on the fourth, fifth and sixth holes, but two bogeys on the seventh and 16th and a further double-bogey on the 14th dropped him back into the chasing pack.

Second-round leaders Henson, Thai Chinnarat Phadungsil (74, 214, tied-sixth) and Australian Scott Barr (76, 216, tied-15th) failed to break par for the third round.

Choo Tze Huang, the only Singaporean to make the cut, enjoyed his best round so far in the tournament with a score of one-over 72 (221). He lies tied-46th.

With 12 players within four strokes of the leaders, it will be a tight race to the championship on Sunday.

chiazya@sph.com.sg