Date: August 23, 2008

Kulacz leads the way in Brunei

Australian Rick Kulacz carded a four-under-par 67 to surge into the lead following the third round of the Brunei Open on Saturday. Kulacz moved to 12-under 201 for the tournament for a one-stroke advantage ahead of South Korea&aposs Ted Oh, who had led at the halfway point, and Thailand&aposs Thaworn Wiratchant, the most prolific winner on the Asian Tour. Oh carded a level-par 71 and Thaworn, who has 10 Asian Tour victories to his name, shot a 66, while a group of four – including first-round leader Somkiat Srisanga of Thailand – were tied for third, three shots off the lead. Kulacz, the 2001 world junior champion and chasing his first Asian Tour victory, began the day tied for third after scores of 68 and 66 in the opening two rounds. The 23-year-old from Perth was error-free in the third round, carding birdies on the par-five second and par-four eighth to reach the turn in 33. Further birdies at the 13th and 16th followed to take Kulacz clear at the top of the leaderboard. “It&aposs good to be leading,” said Kulacz, who won the 2006 New South Wales Open while playing as an amateur. “I&aposm going to have fun tomorrow and see where it takes me. If I play well and win, so be it. If someone else plays better than I do, good on him.” Thaworn carded a five-under 66 featuring seven birdies – including a run of five in six holes on the back nine – and bogeys on the ninth and 18th. The 41-year-old, whose most recent victory came in the Bangkok Open in June, said: “After turning in one under, I didn&apost think I could get close to the lead but I started making putts, so I&aposm quite happy.” “Anything can happen tomorrow. It doesn&apost matter if I&aposve won many titles and the others are looking for their first win. If I keep playing well and everything falls into place, I can win the Brunei Open.” Oh, who is seeking his first Asian Tour, began well with three birdies in his first five holes, but he then recorded three bogeys, a double bogey and two further birdies to end level for the round. The 31-year-old was upset with his performance. “I played terribly,” Oh said. “It started to rain and it got windier and I still tried to force it.” “I was already three under and should have held on to it. I tried to go for the shots in tough conditions and it backfired.”