Shellharbour’s Travis Smyth is hunting for his first Asian Tour victory after taking the third-round lead in The International Series England following a sizzling five-under-par 66 overnight.
The 27-year-old sits on top of the leaderboard at eight-under-par at Slaley Hall Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort, near Newcastle, in the Asian Tour’s debut event in the United Kingdom. He leads by a shot from Thailand’s Sadom Kaewkanjana, who matched the course record with a 65, Zimbabwe’s Scott Vincent, and Korean Joohyung Kim.
Set to feature in the final group for the first time on the Asian Tour, Smyth said he was ready for the challenge.
“This is the best chance that I’ve had on the Asian Tour to win, so I cannot wait to get out there.
“I definitely think I can win. I don’t know how I’m going to do it, but it will be exciting.
Smyth knew he was heading in the right direction on moving day after getting off to a solid start. Birdies on the 2nd and 4th saw him get to five-under for the tournament,
It was the start to the back nine where the fireworks began; Smyth vaulting to eight-under with birdies at the 10th, 11th and 12th.
“I knew I was up there early on because I started pretty well. I’m hoping tomorrow I feel like I did today.”
The critical moment for the St Michael’s gun came at the par-three 17th where an errant six-iron looked set to cost him dearly.
“It was a terrible shot. I got way ahead of it, left the face open and it went way right. I was inside the hazard line – a foot away from the little ditch, so very lucky.”
Partially blocked out from going straight at the flag, he knocked a chip towards the front of the green before calmly draining his putt from the front edge.
“I was thinking ‘make four’. It was pretty obvious to go left of the tree, hit it to the front of the green, two-putt – and I holed it.”
With the leading two players not otherwise exempt earning a place in next week’s US$25 million LIV golf invitational, tonight’s final round will be critical for Smyt who currently sits in 36th place on the Asian Tour Order of Merit.
IN addition to this week’s top two qualifiers, the leading three players not otherwise exempt from the International Series Order of Merit from the International Series Thailand in March through to this week will also secure a start
The inaugural US$25 million LIV Golf Invitational Series tournament will be played at Centurion Club from June 9-11.