Tough day for Mehaffey in Thailand sees her drop out of contention

Adam McKendry

Olivia Mehaffey (Photo by Oisin Keniry/Getty Images)

Adam McKendry

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Olivia Mehaffey couldn’t keep her second round form going into the third day at the Trust Golf Asian Mixed Cup in Thailand, sending her tumbling down the leaderboard and leaving her out of contention going into the final round.

The Tandragee woman had fired her way into the mix with a stunning eight-under 64 on day two but she couldn’t hit those heights for the second day in a row as she repeated her first round score with a one-over 73 dropping her back to six-under-par for the week.

In a share of 38th and now eight shots back of leaders Phachara Khongwatmai and Bio Kim at the mixed-gender event, Mehaffey would need something spectacular to claim the title and instead she will hope to continue her upward trend of results in recent weeks.

The former Arizona State star has had a stop-start beginning to life in the pro ranks, but she has seen progress in the early stages of this season, with her best result being a tied-18th finish in three starts on the Ladies European Tour and Epson Tour.

If she is to better that, however, she will need to channel her second round rather than her third on day four at Siam Country Club, Mehaffey getting off to a solid start with four straight pars but then carding a double-bogey at the fifth and then a bogey at the seventh before back-to-back birdies at the ninth and 10th saw her back to one-over for the day.

A bogey at the par-four 13th was cancelled out by a birdie at the par-four 15th to see her back to the clubhouse in 73, and this far back of the leaders it looks like she is playing for a good finish rather than the win.

Meanwhile, Khongwatmai and Kim both signed for four-under 68s to hold a one-shot lead at 14-under-par, with the latter’s particularly impressive as he bounced back from a double-bogey at the first with four birdies – two of which came in his last two holes – and an eagle.

Overnight leader 14-year-old Thai amateur Racthanon Chantananuwat shot a bogey-free two-under 70 to sit one shot back at 13-under alongside leading woman Jaravee Boonchant and America’s Paul Peterson, who carded rounds of 66 and 68 respectively.

And lurking dangerously just three shots off the lead is former Irish Open champion John Catlin, the American’s bogey-free 66 leaving him at 11-under-par and within striking distance.

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