European Tour

Schwartzel stays in the hunt

2013-03-23 16:30
Charl Schwartzel (AFP)

Kuala Lumpur - Big-hitting Thai Kiradech Aphibarnrat will take a one-shot clubhouse lead into the final round of the weather-hit Malaysian Open on Sunday as world number three Luke Donald missed his first cut on the European Tour.

South Africa's Charl Schwartzel, who was flown in by helicopter for his third round, was a shot behind after two holes as the $2.75m co-sanctioned Asian Tour event was reduced to 54 holes.

The leaders managed just two holes of their third round before play was suspended for the third day in succession at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club.

The 23-year-old Kiradech returned in the morning to card a four-under-par 68 in the second round to go two shots ahead of the chasing pack but his cushion was cut to one after he dropped a shot on the second hole in the third round.

Former Masters winner Schwartzel was about to play his third shot to the par-five third hole when the sirens sounded to indicate an approaching thunderstorm and the suspension of play.

Ireland's triple major winner Padraig Harrington was among seven players tied for the third spot, two shots off the pace.

Donald, who held the world No 1 ranking for a combined 56 weeks in 2011 and 2012, saw his consistent streak in the Tour end after posting rounds of 74 and 73 for a three-over par total, three over the cut mark.

"I guess all good runs come to an end eventually. Hugely disappointed to miss my first ever cut in a European Tour event," Donald posted on his Twitter account.

The Englishman was hopeful that the missed cut will have no bearing on his game when he tees up in search of his first major title at the US Masters in under three weeks' time.

"I've got a couple of weeks off to get ready for Augusta and I'll obviously be very diligent in my preparation," the 35-year old told the European Tour website.

"I would have loved to go back home in form, but in golf you just never know.

"We've seen it many times before when people go into tournaments with very little form and win - including Majors. So you just have to keep plugging and hope it's your turn."

Spain's Rafael Cabrera-Bello, among six players on eight-under and three off the lead, continued to shine despite the theft of his personal possessions including his passport in Switzerland when he was travelling to the tournament.

Leading scores on Saturday after conclusion of rain-hit round two of the $2.75m Maybank Malaysian Open at par-72 Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club:

133 - Kiradech Aphibarnrat (THA) 65-68.

135 - Charl Schwartzel (RSA) 67-68, Wu Ashun (CHN) 67-68, Gregory Bourdy (FRA) 66-69, Wade Ormsby (AUS) 70-65.

136 - Victor Dubuisson (FFR) 67-69, Tommy Fleetwood (ENG) 70-66.

137 - Padraig Harrington (IRL) 69-68, David Howell (ENG) 69-68, Edoardo Molinari (ESP) 66-71, S. Murthy (MAS) 67-70, Peter Lawrie (IRL) 68-69, Alexander Noren (SWE) 69-68.

138 - Scott Jamieson (SCO) 66-72, Liang Wen-chong (TPE) 70-68, Lee Slattery (ENG) 68-70, Mark Foster (ENG) 69-69, Lee-sung (KOR) 68-69.

139 - Prom Meesawat (THA) 68-71, Rafa Cabrera-Bello (ESP) 72-67, Pablo Larrazabal (ESP) 69-70, Alastair Forsyth (SCO) 69-70, Joonas Granberg (FIN) 71-68, Anders Hansen (DEN) 66-73, Simon Khan (ENG) 71-68.

140 - Bernd Wiesberger (AUT) 71-69, Matteo Manassero (ESP) 69-71, Raphael Jacquelin (FRA) 70-70, Jean Gonnet (FRA) 70-70, Joost Luiten (FRA) 69-71, Mikko Ilonen (FIN) 70-70.

141 - Gavin Green (MAS) 73-68, Prayad Marksaeng (THA) 69-72, Jeev Milkha Singh (IND) 71-70, Ignacio Garrido (ESP) 70-71, Chinnarat Phadungsil (THA) 70-71, Andrew Dodt (NZL) 69-72, Gunn Charoenkul (THA) 71-70, Fredrik Andersson Hed (SWE) 68-73.

142 - Alvaro Quiros (ESP) 75-67, Robert Derksen (NED) 72-70, Angelo Que (PHI) 70-72, Adilson Da Silva (BRA) 68-74, Berry Henson (US) 71-71, Mardan Mamat (SIN) 70-72, Danny Chia (MAS) 71-71, Masanori Kobayashi (JPN) 72-70, Thomas Aiken (RSA) 71-71.

143 - Mohd Siddikur (BAN) 71-72, Kim Gi-whan (KOR) 70-73, Alejandro Canizares (ESP) 72-71, Thitiphun Chuayprakong (THA) 72-71, Mo Joong-kyung (KOR) 71-72, Shiv Kapur (IND) 72-71, Jorge Campillo (ESP) 73-70, Phillip Price (WAL) 72-71, Julien Quesne (FRA) 72-71.

144 - Richard Green (NZL) 74-70, Jbe' Kruger (RSA) 73-71, Scott Barr (NZL) 75-69, Johan Edfors (SWE) 76-68, Baek Seuk-hyun (KOR) 72-72, Romain Wattel (FRA) 75-69, Thaworn Wiratchant (THA) 73-71, Oliver Fisher (ENG) 69-75, Thongchai Jaidee (THA) 70-74, Thomas Levet (FRA) 73-71, Stephen Gallacher (SCO) 71-73, Steve Webster (ENG) 71-73, Marcus Fraser (NZL) 69-75, Lee In-woo (KOR) 71-73, Soren Kjeldsen (DEN) 71-73, James Morrison (ENG) 76-68.


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