Yangon, February 26, 2000:
South African James Kingston opened up a commanding six stroke lead in the US$200,000 London Myanmar Open to put himself on the brink of his third victory on the Davidoff Tour.
Kingston carded a third round five-under-par 67 at Yangon Golf Club to lead on 14-under-par 202 from India's Jyoti Randhawa, who came in with a 69. Myanmar's Kyi Hla Han, playing on the course where he played as a teenager, gave himself an outside chance of winning after returning a 68 to lie in third place, eight behind Kingston, along with American Mike Cunning and South African Craig Kamps.
Kingston's previous victory on the Davidoff Tour came in last year's Maekyung Daks Open in Korea where he beat Han in a play-off. The South African led the Maekyung event from start to finish, before Han caught him on the 72nd, and he has been in front in Myanmar since his first round course record of 64.
"I don't know what the secret is at the moment. I am just trying to keep the ball in play. I just have to do the same thing tomorrow," said Kingston, who also won the Thailand Open in 1998. The 34 year old has only made three bogies in three rounds and stretched his lead at the top today by birdieing 13, 14, 16 and 17.
Randhawa, who last year successfully defended his Hero Honda Masters crown in Delhi, stopped Kingston getting too far ahead by birdieing 14, 16 and 17. "The course is very similar to some of the layouts back home in India so I feel comfortable playing. It's all up to James (Kingston) now though. A steady round should see him through," said Randhawa. Han, last year's Davidoff Order of Merit winner, was just three behind Kingston at one stage after playing the front nine in four-under-par 32. He then birdied the 10th to raise the hopes of the home fans but slipped back with bogies on 13 and 15.
"I had a great start but played the last six holes poorly. I thought I was going to shoot something lower. I'll need to shoot a 66 tomorrow but it's going to be tough with James playing so well," said Han, who played regularly at Yangon Golf Club between the ages of 15 and 20 and won the club championship.
Hong Kong's Scott Rowe, who triple bogied the first hole, finished with a 73 and is tied for sixth with India's Gaurav Ghei on four under for the Davidoff Tour event.
202 James Kingston (RSA) (64, 71, 67)
208 Jyoti Randhawa (IND) (67, 72, 69)
210 Mike Cunning (USA) (70, 67, 73), Craig Kamps (RSA) (72, 67, 71), Kyi Hla Han (MYN) (70, 72, 68)
212 Scott Rowe (HKG) (68, 71, 73), Gaurav Ghei (IND) (67, 73, 72
213 Kenny Druce (AUS) (74, 68, 71), Lu Wen-teh (TWN) (71, 69, 73), Jim Rutledge (CAN) (72, 74, 67)
214 Arden Knoll (CAN) (74, 69, 71)
215 Clay Devers (USA) (71, 70, 74), Aaron Meeks (USA) (74, 72, 69), Charlie Wi (KOR) (71, 72, 72), Gerald Rosales (PHI) (71, 73, 71)