LIPA CITY – Micah Shin gunned down two eagles then checked an impending skid with three closing birdies to rally from joint fourth to the top of the heap with a 65 in the pivotal third round of the Philippine Golf Tour Asia’s Summit Point World 18 Challenge here yesterday.
Shin, whose lean frame defies his power off the tee, made his eagles on Nos. 3 and 9 off solid drives and long irons and birdied the three other par-5s, the last on No. 16 that spiked his fiery birdie-birdie-birdie windup that more than made up for his double bogey mishap on the par-4 15th of the Summit Point Golf Club.
That propelled the 21-year-old Korean-American, who scored his maiden win in 2016 in the Philippine Golf Tour’s CAT Open in Tarlac and became the first non-Filipino to win The Country Club Invitational last February, to the top with a 12-under 204, turning a six-stroke deficit to erstwhile leader Dino Villanueva to a two-shot lead over Janne Kaske of Finland and Elmer Salvador in an eventful third round that saw a number of bidders put up low scores in near-perfect conditions to stay in the mix.
“My putting got better and I hope to keep this form tomorrow (today),” said Shin.
But it was his power and iron game that keyed his comeback, coming away with a superb 5-iron second shot from 215 yards to within five feet for his first eagle then knocking down his second from 15 feet on the ninth.