The third round of the CIMB Asia Pacific Classic Malaysia is set to begin Friday night (ET). Here's a preview:
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EXPERT PREVIEW: PGATOUR.COM's expert previews the third round:
Ben Crane made his move Friday by scattering his seven birdies as he inched his way up the leaderboard. Crane did not have back-to-back birdies on the round, but his 64 was the day's best round. Crane picked up his first win since 2005 at the Farmers Insurance Open in January. The 2001 Nationwide Tour graduate is looking to win twice in the same year for the first time in his professional career.
An additional incentive for Crane: the closer to the top of the leaderboard Crane stays, the more he can keep up with Saturday night, as his No. 1 Ducks travel to the University of Southern California for a top-25 bout.
Joining Crane in the final pairing will be Pariya Junhasavasdikul, who birdied five of his last seven holes to charge into a first-place tie. Currently No. 8 on the Asian Tour's Order of Merit, Junhasavasdikul picked up his first career Asian Tour victory Oct. 3 at the Mercuries Taiwan Masters. He also has four top-10 finishes in 10 starts.
Junhasavasdikul leads the field in birdies with a lucky 13 through the first two rounds at The MINES Resort & Golf Club, but two Friday bogeys, including one on the par-5 11th, set him back.
The course played a bit tougher Friday, with eight players shooting par or worse. With rain again in the forecast for Saturday's third round, there probably won't be much of a change in scoring. This means whoever goes low this weekend will have a good chance to win this event.