Simon Yates unable to use local knowledge in Thailand

Simon Yates in action during the True Thailand Classic at Black Mountain Golf Club.  Picture: Ian Walton/Getty

Simon Yates in action during the True Thailand Classic at Black Mountain Golf Club. Picture: Ian Walton/Getty

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A wind of change prevented Simon Yates from using local knowledge on “moving day” as Australian Scott Hend took control in the True Thailand Classic at Black Mountain Golf Club in Hua Hin.

Yates, who lives 50 yards from the 10th tee, birdied the last for a third-round 72 to sit joint-ninth on nine-under, five shots behind Hend, who carded a 70 move two shots clear of American Peter Uihlein (69).

“The wind was tough as it was strong and coming from all directions,” said Yates, a 45-year-old Glaswegian who has been based in Thailand for more than 20 years and is a close friend of the Black Mountain owner, having discovered the site for it and being heavily involved in its development.

“We’ve had winds like this, but normally the 18th is straight up or straight down. It is very rarely left to right and every hole was so different to what it normally is. So local knowledge wasn’t an advantage today because I didn’t know what clubs to hit half the time.”

One-under for the day with three to play, Yates, a two-time Asian Tour winner, ran up an untimely double-bogey 6 at the 16th before repairing part of that damage at the last. “That birdie means I’m not too far behind and if it’s not too windy tomorrow and I can shoot eight or nine-under, then I might have a chance,” he added. “But I’ve got to get the putter working as it was pretty horrible most of the day.”

Having also birdied the last for the same score, Marc Warren is a shot further back while Scott Jamieson, the third of the Scots to make the cut, sits joint-34th on four-under after a 70, finishing birdie-birdie.

Hend holds the lead heading into the final round for the second year running, his advantage being just one shot 12 months ago, when he shot a closing 72 as compatriot Andrew Dodt came from four behind to win thanks to a last-day 67. “It was a good grind today,” said the 43-year-old, whose only European Tour triumph was in the 2014 Hong Kong Open.

Elsehwhere, Scottish trio Kylie Walker, Carly Booth and Pamela Pretswell were all lying outside the top 30 when the third round of the World Ladies Championship at Mission Hills in China was suspended due to bad light.

Before the action was halted, home hope Liu Yu had surged into the outright lead, the 20-year-old playing the back nine of the Olazabal Course in four-under-par to hold a one stroke lead at seven-under.

She will go into the final day looking to become the second Chinese winner of the championship and first since Shanshan Feng won the inaugural event in Haikou four years ago.

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