Patience vital to tame 'The Beast'

Siddukur Rahman (above)
Siddukur Rahman (above)PHOTO: ASIAN TOUR

The course has been dubbed 'The Beast' but an aggressive approach will not help one tame it.

Indeed, being calm is the secret to tackling Laguna National's World Classic Course, revealed the only two players to remain under par after three rounds of the US$750,000 (S$1.07 million) World Classic Championship.

Bangladesh's Siddikur Rahman (71-71-69) and Malaysia's Nicholas Fung (74-67-70) are tied for the lead on two-under 211.

They are two strokes ahead of India's S. Chikka (67), Thailand's Danthai Boonma (72) and American Berry Henson (73), who had co-led the tournament by one shot early yesterday after the second round was completed.

Siddikur will be hoping to bag his third Asian Tour title today, while Fung is chasing his first.



    211 Siddikur Rahman (Ban, above) 71 71 69, Nicholas Fung (Mas) 74 67 70

  • 213 S. Chikka (Ind) 76 70 67, Danthai Boonma (Tha) 72 69 72, Berry Henson (USA) 70 70 73

  • 214 Chapchai Nirat (Tha) 76 69 69, Paul Peterson (USA) 71 73 70, Chinnarat Phadungsil (Tha) 71 69 74

When asked how he had approached the course, which allowed only 13 players to break par yesterday, Fung said: "Don't try to be greedy, don't try to be aggressive."

The consistent Siddikur added: "This is like one of the different golf courses. It's a good experience, a new experience... we have to enjoy it.

"I have to be patient, hit more fairways and more greens - that's the key to do well here.

"You have to accept the bogey. After double bogeys, if you manage to calm down - that's the key to recovery."

One stroke behind Chikka, Danthai and Henson are Thais Chapchai Nirat (69) and Chinnarat Phadungsil (74), and American Paul Peterson (70).

Choo Tze Huang, the only Singaporean to make the cut in the field of 144, is tied for 46th on 221 after a 72. He said: "I spoke to Nicholas Fung about it. It's a mental game. I have to be patient and not get overwhelmed.

"The greens are hard to putt and not easy to read, but I am getting more comfortable on it. You have to give the course a lot of respect."

Australian Scott Barr, who had led the tournament for the first two rounds after taking full advantage of his local knowledge, fell into a tie for 15th following a 76 on a course touted as Asia's Toughest Test. He is five shots off the pace.

He said: "I just got 'World Classic-ed' today. I didn't putt well, couldn't get any momentum going. It didn't go my way at all today."

Given the nature of 'The Beast', no golfer is counting their chickens before they're hatched.

Said Fung: "It's still anybody's game. One good score on the last day could be the winner."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 15, 2015, with the headline 'Patience vital to tame 'The Beast''. Print Edition | Subscribe