Aphibarnrat keeping Harrington at bay

3/24/2013 3:31:00 AM
 Kiradech Aphibarnrat   (Getty Images)
Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Getty Images)
Kiradech Aphibarnrat turned one shot ahead of three-time Major Champion Padraig Harrington as an exciting finish beckoned at the Maybank Malaysian Open.

The 23 year old Thai, a leader at the end of each day in a tournament reduced to 54 holes because of adverse weather, started the day 11 under par with 16 holes to complete in the third and final round.

He birdied the long third after a chip to three feet, then followed that with a curling 15 foot eagle putt two holes later.

However, chasing his maiden European Tour title, Aphibarnrat three-putted the seventh for bogey after running his birdie putt 12 foot past the hole.

That tallied up to a front nine 34, and at 13 under Aphibarnrat found himself one clear as Harrington came surging into contention.

The Irishman played the front nine in just 31 strokes; birdieing the second and fourth before holing an 18 foot eagle putt at the fifth and a ten foot birdie effort at the next.

At 12 under he was one ahead of third-place Ashun Wu of China, with Dane Anders Hansen, Italian Edoardo Molinari, France’s Victor Dubuisson and South African Charl Schwartzel all far from out of it at ten under par.

Aphibarnrat and Harrington both bogeyed the 12th and the 23 year old leader was joined by first Wu and then Molinari; the former Ryder Cup star birdieing the 14th and 16th.

Wu then bogeyed the 13th to lie on 11 under, the score at which Hansen set the clubhouse target.