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
ABOUT THE Asia-Pacific Amateur
The Asia-Pacific Amateur (formerly known as the
Asian Amateur) is the first of a series of
championships put together by a between the
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 and the British 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
A field, topping out at 120 players, is selected by
The top two ranked amateur players from
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
country may nominate a player(s) from
country, to be approved by the APGC, to
the two positions eligible from that country.
The remainder of the field will be filled
the next highest ranked players of APGC
member countries, not otherwise qualified.
maximum number of eligible players from
APGC member country (with the exception
the host country) is six. Additional players may
be offered at the event's discretion.
View Complete Tournament Information