TARLAC — James Ryan Lam banged in a 28-foot birdie putt on No. 18 for a 67, capping his fightback from four down to a rare spot on top with Jobim Carlos and Aussie Jack Sullivan in a topsy-turvy third round of the CAT (Central Azucarera de Tarlac) Open at the Luisita Golf and Country Club here Thursday.
First round leader Elmer Salvador recalled his fierce form and regained the lead with a solid five-under card after 10 holes but fell behind again with a missed green bogey on No. 11 and a three-putt miscue on the 13th for a 69, enabling Sullivan, who shot a 69, Carlos, who saved a 71, and a fired-up Lam to seize control at 10-under 206.
“I’ll just play my usual game and see what happens in the final round,” said Lam, 30, seeking to finally nail the big one after four runner-up finishes, including at PGT Del Monte last June.
Despite his backside meltdown, Salvador kept the leaders within sight with a 207 while Joenard Rates and American Josh Salah shot identical 68s for 208s, guaranteeing a shootout for the top $17,500 purse in the $100,000 championship.