The Starter: Round 3, CIMB Asia Pacific Classic Malaysia

October 29, 2010
PGA TOUR staff

The third round of the CIMB Asia Pacific Classic Malaysia is set to begin Friday night (ET). Here's a preview:

Groups we're watching:
Tee time Players  
11:10 p.m. ET
No. 1
Ernie Els, Rickie Fowler
Fowler, in a tough stretch on his schedule which includes events in five consecutive weeks, is in search of his second top-10 finish in three starts.
11:50 p.m. ET
No. 1
Ryan Moore, Ricky Barnes
Round 2's final pairing moves back a slot for the third round with both players starting a shot behind the leaders.
12 a.m. ET
No. 1
Pariya Junhasavasdikul, Ben Crane
This duo combined for 15 birdies on Friday and they will be hope for more of the same Saturday as they try to distance themselves from the pack.

EXPERT PREVIEW: PGATOUR.COM's expert previews the third round:

Friday's forecast

Scattered storms
Temp: 82 high/74 low
Chance of rain 60 percent. NW winds around 8 mph.

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.

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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.