AP News

Groom ahead by 1 at Cambodian Open

SIEM REAP, Cambodia (AP) — Australian Adam Groom shot a 2-under-par 70 to take a one-shot lead after the third round of the Cambodian Open on Saturday, with a bunched field still in contention for the event's inaugural title.

Groom was at 7-under 203, one stroke ahead of American Bryan Saltus, who had a 71 on the lengthy 7,226-yard Phokeethra course - one of only three golf courses in the Southeast Asian nation.

Three strokes further back in the $300,000 event were American Anthony Kang (71) and the Thai trio of Chapchai Nirat (68), Thaworn Wiratchant (67) and Prom Meesawat (69).

"Knowing that I have secured my card for next year has helped me relax on course this week," the 28-year-old Groom said. "I haven't played four rounds under par this season and doing that this week would be a great result.

"The conditions are not that tough and with a solid game tomorrow, it might just work out."

Groom recorded three birdies and a bogey in his quest for a first Asian Tour title this season.

Saltus had two birdies and a bogey and said a round of 65 in the Hong Kong Open had turned around his approach.

"Thats when I realised that I could finally string together one solid round and I have moved forward since then," Saltus said. "I need to be more focused and I will do so by gunning for the number one spot tomorrow."

Thaworn threatened to storm up to the leaders after firing four birdies in as many holes to start his third round, and although he later dropped two shots, the former Asian Tour No. 1 still feels in contention.

"Four strokes off the pace is possible to catch up but it's going to be quite a challenge for me because this course does not suit my game," Thaworn said.

The Cambodian Open, played near the nation's prime tourist attraction of Angkor Wat temple, is the penultimate event on the Asian Tour.

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