Thongchai Jaidee (Getty Images)
Thongchai Jaidee has given himself an opportunity to register his first victory on European soil as a third round -4 under par,67 in the Handa Wales Open at Celtic Manor puts him in the lead at the top of the leader board. The Thai golfer now has an advantage in the ISPS Handa Wales Open, over second round leader Ross Fisher, who could only muster a par third round and also Joost Luiten. Joost had an amazing third round of -7 under par 64, which propelled him up the leader board into tied for second place.
Thongchai is excited by the opportunity to win in on European soil for the first time;
I’ve won a lot of times in Asia and I’ve played well a lot of times in Asia. In Europe, it’s very important for me to do well because the weather is going to be very difficult for me. I’ve learned a lot of things, how to play with these conditions. I think this time it’s a very good chance. You never know how it’s going to be tomorrow, but I’ll try to give it my best and look forward. If I keep my game plan like this, I have a good chance. I’ll play my own game, the best thing to do is to hit fairways, hit the greens and putt well. That’s my key tomorrow.”
The 42-year-old Thongchai birdied the par five 18th after an incredible drive measured at 410 yards,and then only needed a seven iron second to the 575 yard hole. He unfortunately pushed it into a bunker, but made a 12 foot putt for the outright lead.
He was pleasantly surprised with the drive;
“I think 320 is the longest for me, so when we got to the top of the hill I asked ‘where’s the ball?’ and a marshal told me. I thought it was 390, but 410 sounds better.” He
Ross Fisher stubbed his toe in his hotel room on Friday night;
“There were a few expletives and it was extremely painful. I couldn’t put any weight on it and half-contemplated playing in trainers.
One of the toes is as purple as anything. I iced it and two of the toes were strapped together, but I hit it everywhere and I’m glad to finish. It would mean a lot to win. I set very high standards and I reached 17th in the world, so I know I have the game. “
“Given where I hit it that’s one of the best level par rounds I’ve ever had. I hung in there and dug deep.
Dutchman, Tim Sluiter is another shot further back after his third round score of -3 under par, 68, and is alone with a tournament total of -5 under par.
Germany’s Marcel Siem has made a remarkable recovery from yesterday’s poor round, to shoot a third round -5 under par 66, which has put him in good position to maybe have a say in the outcome of this tournament tomorrow.