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Three men join Windred atop Asia-Pacific Amateur leaderboard
Ren Yonezawa (AAC photo)
Ren Yonezawa (AAC photo)

After three rounds at the Asia Pacific Amateur, there’s a new leader. Actually, there are three of them.

With a 2-over 74 in the third round at Sheshan International Golf Club in Shanghai, China, first- and second-round leader Blake Windred opened the door for three more men to join him at the top of the leaderboard. Windred remains 8 under and with a share of the lead, but now Yuto Katsuragawa, Yung-Hua Liu and Ren Yonezawa have a share of it, too.

No one said this would be easy. Afterall, there’s a Masters invitation on the line.

Japan’s Ren Yonezawa who had 73, could have been the solo leader, but he missed a par putt on the 18th hole from less than four feet to fall back to 8 under. This marks the first tie for the lead after 54 holes in the history of the championship.

Yonezawa is a practice buddy of defending champion Takumi Kanaya. This is Yonezawa’s first start in this championship.

“Over the past two years, I have worked very hard on my long game and that is one of the main reasons I have been playing so well. But then, I missed a few short putts today,” said Yonezawa, who finished runner-up at the Asia-Pacific Open Diamond Cup, a professional event on the Japan Golf Tour in May this year.

“I was a bit nervous on the first two shots on the 18th hole (a par 5), and just wanted to be more aggressive with my third shot so that I didn’t end up in the water guarding the front of the green. Obviously, I went too far past the flag and it is a difficult downhill putt from there.

“But I am in a good position. I just need to work on my short-range putting today and I think I should be ready for the battle tomorrow.”

Katsuragawa, another of the co-leaders, also hails from Japan. Liu is from Korea.

Kanaya, for his part, remains in a tie for fifth, one off the lead. China’s Yuxin Lin, who won this championship in 2017, is tied for seventh another shot back.

On the other hand, Windred, who is ranked No. 11 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, sank a five-foot putt for birdie on the last to remain on top of the leader board for a third straight day.

“What I can take away from today is that it wasn’t my best performance at all, but I was quite happy with my attitude on the golf course and when I rolled that birdie putt in on the last,” said Windred, who opened with a 63, setting a record for lowest opening round and matching the low-18 record in the history of the championship.

“On the last tee, I was seven under and I didn’t feel great mentally, but I told myself that there's another day and another opportunity to shoot a low score and take home the trophy. That kind of pumped me up a little bit, and then I was in the right space to make a birdie on the last.”

Quotes and information from the Asia-Pacific Amateur used in this report

Results: Asia-Pacific Amateur
1ChinaYuxin LinChina150068-71-71-68=278
2JapanTakumi KanayaJapan100072-69-68-69=278
T3ThailandPeng PichaikoolThailand70071-73-70-65=279
T3Chinese TaipeiYung-Hua LiuChinese Taipei70068-71-69-71=279
T5Chinese TaipeiChun An YuChinese Taipei70073-69-70-68=280

View full results for Asia-Pacific Amateur

ABOUT THE Asia-Pacific Amateur

The Asian-Pacific Amateur (formerly known as the Asian Amateur) is the first of a series of worldwide championships put together by a between the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation (APGC), the Masters Tournament and The R&A. The event offers the winner an invitation to the Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. The champion and runner(s)-up earn spots in The Open Qualifying Series for The Open. The event has historically moved throughout the region and has now been held in China, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Australia and Hong Kong, Korea, and New Zealand.

A field, topping out at 120 players, is selected by the following criteria.

The top two ranked amateur players from each of the APGC member countries plus the four top ranked players from the host country. If there is not a sufficient number of players ranked from that member country, the member country may nominate a player(s) from their country, to be approved by the APGC, to fulfill the two positions eligible from that country.

The remainder of the field will be filled taking the next highest ranked players of APGC member countries, not otherwise qualified. The maximum number of eligible players from any APGC member country (with the exception of the host country) is six. Additional players may be offered at the event's discretion.

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