With one round to go at the CIMB Classic, Kiradech Aphibarnrat sits in a tie for third, just one shot off the pace in Kuala Lumpur as he looks to capture his first career PGA Tour title. It's a position that – even after the conclusion of his round – the 24-year-old was not sure he would maintain following a brush with the rules on the 13th hole Saturday.
Already 5 under on his round, Aphibarnrat found the fairway at the par-4 13th at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club and began to address his ball when it moved, prompting the Thai to call for a rules official. As discussion commenced about whether Aphibarnrat had grounded his club at address, which would have been cause for a penalty, it was decided that he would review video evidence along with rules officials before signing his scorecard in order to make a final determination.
Aphibarnrat went on to make par at No. 13, but made a double-bogey 6 on the next hole and carded pars on the subsequent four, completing a round of what appeared to be 3-under 69. After the conclusion of play, Asian Tour officials took to Twitter to confirm that Aphibarnrat would not be receiving a penalty for the activity that occurred in the 13th fairway:
Rules officials clear Kiradech Aphibarnrat of any rules infringement. HIs 69 stands and he's just one shot off the lead at the @CIMBClassic— The Asian Tour (@asiantourgolf) October 26, 2013
As a result, Aphibarnrat will begin the final round at 11-under 205, tied with Gary Woodland and one shot behind co-leaders Ryan Moore and Chris Stroud. The 24-year-old has the lowest score among Asian participants through 54 holes and is one of four Asians currently in the top 20, along with K.J. Choi (T-11), Shiv Kapur (T-16) and Hideki Matsuyama (T-16).