Shiv Kapur on the golf course on the Asian Tour. Image Credit: Supplied

Chinese-Taipei’s Chan Shih-chang moved a step closer to winning an Asian Tour event on home soil for the first time when he took a share of the lead along with India’s Rashid Khan after the third round of the $1 million Mercuries Taiwan Masters today in Taipei.

Four time Asian Tour winner Chan carded a three-under-par 69 to reach 11 under for the tournament and catch overnight leader Khan, who fired a 73.

Dubai based Shiv Kapur shot a third round one under par 71, over the par 72, 6923 Yards course, for a three round total 212, four under par to go along with his opening rounds of 68 and 73.

Shiv has nines of 36 and 35, with back-to-back birdies on 67 with bogeys on holes two and nine to be out in level par.

On the back nine a bogey on hole 11 was compensated with a triple birdie run on holes 13, 14 and 15 and a dropped shot on the home hole.

Dropped shot

Shiv spoke to Gulf News on completion of his round, “I felt my game is slowly coming back overall today, but untidy three putt on nine and it is never nice to finish the day with a dropped shot. I am encouraged by my form and with a low one tomorrow I reckon I could still have a chance to contend, I need to stay positive. The golf course was playing tricky today with a swirling breeze and some tucked pins.”

Fellow Dubain MG Keyser (RSA), representing Jumeirah Golf Estates shot a third round 72, for a 54 total of 217, one over par in tied 32nd.

Thailand’s Sarit Suwannarut and Siddikur Rahman from Bangladesh are tied for third, three shots back after scoring 68 and 69 respectively, at Taiwan Golf and Country Club.

Two of Chan’s victories have come in the last 10 months, and the kind of form that saw him win those titles was on display again today. He nailed five birdies and made two bogeys; the last of those dropped shots came on 14, which prompted the best possible reaction as he made his final two birdies on the next two holes.

Chan won the Blue Canyon Phuket Championship at the end of November last year, which was the Asian Tour’s first event back after a two-month break caused by the pandemic; and he won in Thailand again this year at the Royal’s Cup in February.

Three of his Asian Tour successes have come in The Kingdom, while another in Japan and having finished joint third in the Mercuries Taiwan Masters last year and equal second the year before a first Asian Tour victory in Chinese-Taipei is of the highest priority to the 36 year-old.

Khan won both of his Asian Tour titles in 2014 – the SAIL-SBI Open in India, and the Chiangmai Golf Classic, in Thailand – and the signs have been there this season, particularly after a joint runner-up placing in the Mandiri Indonesian Open in August, that the long wait for a third win could before over soon.

Excellent position 

Sarit is looking for his first win on the Asian Tour and put himself in an excellent position to do that with the second lowest round of the day.

Siddikur’s name on the leader board will be a pleasing sight for many. The two-time winner on the Asian Tour has not been in contention for a while.

Pavit impressed for much of the day but surprisingly made three bogeys on the trot from the 15th and closed with a 71, to sit four behind the leaders, along with countryman Nitithorn Thippong, who signed for a 73.

Nitithorn is trying to win for the third time this season.