Ernie Els (Getty Images)
Thai veteran Prayad Marksaeng shot a spectacular seven under par 65 at the inaugural Chiangmai Golf Classic presented by PTT as Ernie Els moved into contention.
The 47 year old Marksaeng, chasing his sixth Asian Tour victory, was four ahead of South Africa's Els, who battled to a 69 with a short putter in his bag for the first time since the end of 2011.
China's Hu Mu showed his growing potential with a solid 66 after ending his last five holes with an eagle and two birdies to tie for second place with Prom Meesawat of Thailand and American Jonathan Moore.
Asia's first Major Champion Y E Yang matched Els’ 69, as did three-time Asian Tour number one Thongchai Jaidee, who needs a victory this week to qualify for the Masters Tournament next month.
Last week's Maybank Malaysian Open winner Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand came in with a 71.
"I thought it was good," said Els of his short putter. "I missed quite a few but I felt comfortable with it.
“I made some good ones on my front nine. I missed some greens so I had to up and down a few times and there were some good putts which I had to make. I'm working hard at it when I'm away for tournaments. It felt good today."