Padraig Harrington surged five strokes clear of the field in his bid for a first win since 2010 before bad weather forced play in the $750,000 BANK BRI Indonesia Open to be suspended until Sunday.
The Dubliner, 43, was tied with clubhouse leader Thanyakon Khrongpha of Thailand on 12 under par with six holes of his second round to play on Saturday morning and completed them with six straight pars to remain tied for the lead. Scores
When the third round got underway it was Harrington who streaked clear, picking up birdies at the first, second, seventh and 13th before play was suspended until 6.40 am local time (11.40pm Saturday in Ireland) on Sunday.
At 16 under par, he was five shots clear of Australian Nathan Holman with Khrongpha six behind in third place, two over for his second round after 13 holes.
“I was doing nicely," Harrington said. "I got a good start and holed a couple of putts at the right time. I didn’t do too many mistakes but it is always difficult when you have the lead. You are a little bit cautious and it is something which I have to deal with.
“The last thing I want to do is go out there and be negative because that gives the rest of the field a chance. It is an awkward position to be in. It is never easy to lead. It is always easy to chase."
Though he won the 36-hole PGA Grand Slam of Golf in 2012, Harrington's most recent 72-hole win came also came on the Asian Tour in the 2010 Iskandar Johor Open in Malaysia.
Holman struggled to repeat his second round heroics where he posted a brilliant 63. The Australian needs a huge result this week to have a chance of retaining his Asian Tour card for the 2015 season.
“I didn’t have real momentum going. The suspension didn’t really affect anything. Obviously you can learn quite a bit from Padraig Harrington and it has been really nice playing with him. Hope to get a good night’s sleep and see what happens tomorrow,” said Holman, ranked 95th on the Merit list.
Thanyakon, who is chasing for a first Asian Tour win, rued poor tee shots as he stumbled to four bogeys against two birdies. He gave himself a lifeline when he birdied the 13th hole before play was called off for the day.
“I was hitting my driver to the left today. It was very disappointing and I couldn’t recover from that. It really hurt my score. I was also struggling to judge the speed of the greens. Hopefully I can bounce back,” said the 24-year-old Thai.