SINGAPORE - With 11 players separated by just three strokes, the final round of the 10th Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship (AAC) on Sunday (Oct 6) promises to be a thrilling shootout.
Defending champion Lin Yuxin of China obliterated the Sentosa Golf Club's par-70 New Tanjong Course with a course record of eight-under 62 on Saturday to surge from joint-15th at the start of the third round to the top of the leaderboard on 10-under 200.
The 17-year-old left-hander fired an impressive nine birdies marred by one bogey to record the lowest round of his fledgling career.
He is one stroke ahead of joint-overnight leader Filipino Lloyd Jefferson Go, who could manage only a one-under 69 on Saturday.
Five players, including Asian Games gold medallist Keita Nakajima of Japan and 2015 AAC champion Jin Cheng of China, are bunched at eight-under 202.
"To be honest, I don't know what happened with me. I was hitting it really bad two weeks ago and really didn't have it last week," said Lin, who has been hampered by a wrist injury for much of the year.
"But the Callaway guys have done a really good job for me (with my clubs). This week, I'm striking the ball well, found my rhythm on the greens and, there you go, an eight under."
Lin is relishing the challenge of fending off the chasing pack, which includes compatriot Jin, who struggled with a 70 on Saturday.
"We're actually really good friends but, when we're out there, we're definitely competing with each other," said Lin, who will join Jin at the University of Southern California next year.
Filipino Go knows he needs to bring his 'A' game to the final round today and there's no room for error.
"I'm going to need to do everything good tomorrow. There's about 20 people very close together and I think it's going to be a shootout," said the 23-year-old.
"Whoever plays his best will take home the trophy."
Meanwhile, Gregory Foo and Abdul Hadi were the only Singaporeans golfers among five who made the cut to post under-par rounds yesterday. Foo (69) is tied 20th on two-under 208 while Hadi (68) is one stroke back.
Said Hadi, 23: "I hit more greens today than in the first two rounds and my putting was pretty solid, too. It's my last AAC tournament so I'm just going to embrace the whole moment tomorrow."