Dhaka, May 11: England’s Jack Harrison put himself in prime position to win in his first start as an Asian Tour rookie when he posted a four-under-par 67 to lead by one shot following the penultimate round of the AB Bank Bangladesh Open on Friday.

The 27-year-old Harrison, who came through the Asian Tour Qualifying School earlier in January, fired five birdies in his closing six holes to move atop the leaderboard with a 11-under-par 202 total at the Kurmitola Golf Club.

Sri Lankan Mithun Perera overcame an opening bogey with eight birdies but slipped back with two other bogeys in his closing four holes to settle for a 66 in second place at the US$300,000 event, which is celebrating its fourth consecutive edition on the Asian Tour this week.

Qualifying School graduate Ben Campbell of New Zealand, who is making his debut appearance at the AB Bank Bangladesh Open, carded a 68, thanks to three closing birdies. He trails by two shots in third place on 204.

Overnight co-leader Malcolm Kokocinski of Sweden battled to a 71 to sit a further shot back in fourth place alongside Suttijet Kooratanapisan (70) of Thailand and India’s M Dharma (68).

Local hope Zamal Hossain Mollah, who held a share of the halfway lead, slipped four shots off the pace to tied-seventh place with Divyanshu Bajaj of India (70) on matching 206s. He remains the highest-ranked local player following the third round of the AB Bank Bangladesh Open.

Did you know?

  • Jack Harrison secured his Asian Tour card for the 2018 season after finishing tied-15th at the Asian Tour Qualifying School, which was played over five rounds (90 holes) across two courses in Thailand earlier in January. It was his second attempt at the Qualifying School since 2013.
  • Harrison needed only 25 putts around the greens for his commendable round of 67 today.
  • Harrison is in the running to become the fastest rookie to win on the Asian Tour. Kane Webber and Todd Sinnott won their maiden Asian Tour titles in their second starts on Tour in 2006 and 2017 respectively.
  • Harrison, who turned professional in 2011, also plays on the Sunshine Tour, where he enjoyed a tied-sixth place finish at the Cape Town Open in February.
  • Mithun Perera turned professional in 2011. He is the son to Nandasena, a famous name on the old Asian circuit during the 1980s and 1990s.
  • The 31-year-old Perera ended a two-year title drought when he claimed his sixth title on the Professional Golf Tour of India earlier in March.
  • Perera is chasing to become the first ever Sri Lankan to win on the Asian Tour.
  • Like Harrison, Ben Campbell also came through the Asian Tour Qualifying School earlier in January to earn his card for the 2018 season. It was his first time making the mark in four attempts since 2011.
  • The 26-year-old Campbell is making his third start on the Asian Tour this season but playing in his first attempt at the Bangladesh Open this week.
  • M Dharma is a two-time winner on his domestic circuit. The 31-year-old, who hails from Bengaluru, turned professional in 2005.
  • Dharma is making his third appearance at the AB Bank Bangladesh Open this week. He enjoyed a tied-seventh place finish when he played the ADT season-opener, also at the Kurmitola Golf Club, in January.

Players’ quotes:

Jack Harrison (Eng) – Third round 67 (-4), Total 202 (-11)

I had a good finish with five birdies in my last six holes but it wasn’t the most comfortable round out there. It was a real grind especially for the first 12 holes today. I kept the ball in play off the tee very well. I knew if I can keep doing that, I will have a few chances coming in but unfortunately, only a few putts dropped.

This is my first start on the Asian Tour since coming through the Qualifying School earlier this season. I am loving the good vibes out here, especially so when I am playing well. I am loving Dhaka so far. I love the course here, the people and everything else. It’s been fantastic. I am enjoying it.

I am just going to stick to the same game plan tomorrow and play my best, take advantage of my strength which is off the tees this week and hopefully win. I guess it’s all about decision making and not being too greedy around the course here. It can really bite you. You got to keep it in play and don’t try to go for the pins because if you miss, you won’t have a chance really.

Mithun Perera (Slk) – Third round 66 (-5), Total 203 (-10)

I didn’t finish well, dropped two shots on my last four holes but overall, I had a great round. I made eight birdies after the bogey on first. I played decent golf but missed a couple of putts today. I was happy to put myself in contention for tomorrow.

I was able to hit it close today. My iron shots were very good. My birdies were from about two to three feet. I three-putted the first hole for bogey and sank a 10-footer on the second for birdie to make it back. That helped me gained some momentum heading into the round.

It was tough to score today, given the windy conditions. I am happy with where I stand right now. There’s still one more day to go. I will try and beat the golf course tomorrow. I tell myself I am playing against myself and against the golf course, not the players.

The aim is to shoot an under-par round tomorrow. We will see how it goes.

Ben Campbell (Nzl) – Third round 68 (-3), Total 204 (-9)

I hit the ball really well today. On the front nine, I just couldn’t hole any putts but I stuck in there and happy with the way I finished the round. I knew I was playing well but I was even par and I felt like I should be four or five-under. I felt like I have left a few out there but it’s a nice way to finish and there’s always tomorrow.

I hit a good five-iron into the 16th hole and made a 15-footer for birdie. I made another birdie from four-feet on 17th and hit a nice iron-shot to about five -feet for birdie on 18th. It was just to give myself a chance to win if I get a good round tomorrow.

The week’s been good so far. It’s been tough with the rain delays but the course is in great shape. Took a bit of time to get used to the greens after all the rain but overall, it’s good. Hopefully tomorrow I can continue to do the same things and hole a few more putts.

M Dharma (Ind) – Third round 68 (-3), Total 205 (-8)

I started with a bogey on the first but bounced back immediately with a birdie on second. I made a few good birdies to turn in 32 but my back nine was really shaky. I am still hitting the ball good today, just made a few bad shots on my back nine.

It was windy out there and not easy to play at all. I made a long putt from about 20 feet for birdie on seventh. That was my highlight today. I managed to hit it close for the other birdies. I am very happy with how I have played so far.

I don’t want to have any expectations for the final round tomorrow. I just want to play my game. If I tell myself I have to shoot a certain number, I will be stressed. I just want to play my best and whatever happens, happens.

Scores after round 3 of the AB Bank Bangladesh Open 2018 being played at the par 71, 6642 Yards Kurmitola Golf Club course (am – denotes amateur):

202 – Jack HARRISON (ENG) 66-69-67.

203 – Mithun PERERA (LKA) 70-67-66.

204 – Ben CAMPBELL (NZL) 70-66-68.

205 – M DHARMA (IND) 66-71-68, Suttijet KOORATANAPISAN (THA) 71-64-70, Malcolm KOKOCINSKI (SWE) 68-66-71.

206 – Divyanshu BAJAJ (IND) 67-69-70, Zamal Hossain MOLLAH (BAN) 69-65-72.

207 – Honey BAISOYA (IND) 71-67-69.

208 – Settee PRAKONGVECH (THA) 70-69-69, Rashid KHAN (IND) 71-67-70, Berry HENSON (USA) 69-68-71.

209 – Lionel WEBER (FRA) 70-68-71, Thammanoon SRIROJ (THA) 70-68-71, John CATLIN (USA) 67-70-72, Poom SAKSANSIN (THA) 71-66-72.

210 – Namchok TANTIPOKHAKUL (THA) 68-71-71, Sydney CHUNG (USA) 70-69-71.

211 – Siddikur RAHMAN (BAN) 72-69-70, Badal HOSSAIN (BAN) 71-67-73, Paul HARRIS (USA) 70-66-75.

212 – Arnond VONGVANIJ (THA) 69-72-71, Amir NAZRIN (MAS) 67-73-72, Suradit YONGCHAROENCHAI (THA) 71-72-69, Kazuki HIGA (JPN) 68-71-73, Rory HIE (INA) 69-69-74, Anura ROHANA (LKA) 69-69-74.

View full results here.

Ends.

About Asian Tour

As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include Rolex (Official Timekeeper), Panasonic (Official Consumer Electronics), Habitat for Humanity (Official Sustainable Development Partner), ECCO (Official Footwear Sponsor), Titleist and FootJoy (Official Web Partner), Bloomberg TV (Official International Media Partner), Bloomberg Businessweek Chinese (Official International Media Partner), Wall Street Journal (Official International Media Partner) and Sentosa in Singapore which is the Home of the Asian Tour which also has an office in Kuala Lumpur.

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