He was leading the SEA Games field with four holes to play when he received a warning for slow play.
That seemed to derail Singapore golfer Marc Ong as he went on to bogey the 15th and 16th holes at Sentosa Golf Club's tough Serapong Course yesterday.
The 20-year-old finished with a one-over 73 for a three-day total of 216, leaving him in second place in the battle for men's individual honours.
Thailand's Sarit Suwannarut carded a 71 to sit atop the leaderboard by one stroke heading into the final round today.
"I was a bit behind on some rulings on the earlier holes," said Ong, who finished as the joint-leader at the end of the second round on Wednesday with Thailand's Natipong Srithong - the two are joint-second heading into the final 18 holes.
"When I received the warning, I had to rush through the last few holes, and I lost my focus a little."
Singapore enter today's final round with three golfers in contention for individual gold.
Jonathan Woo is three behind the leader in fifth spot and Johnson Poh is sixth (219 total) .
Thailand's Tawan Phongphun, who led after the first round, is fourth with a three-day total of 217 and the winner should come from either Thailand or the host nation.
Ong fancies his chances of a gold medal in his third SEA Games outing.
"I've been playing well and it's within reach now," he said.
"One shot is nothing; it's just one hole. I'm playing with Sarit tomorrow and I need to win it myself, without hoping for him or the other chasers to slip up."
"It's really cool that Jonathan and Johnson are in contention as well. If we shoot low (today), we stand a really good chance," he added.
While their chances in the individual event look strong, the Republic are too far behind in the men's team race.
The Republic's men are 11 strokes behind leaders Thailand (642), with Indonesia and the Philippines joint-third (666).
In the women's bracket, first-round leader Koh Sock Hwee slipped one place back when she posted a 74 yesterday for a two-day total of 143.
Thailand's Suthavee Chanachai carded a 69 to lead by three strokes.
" I didn't really play so good (yesterday), but at least I hung in there," said the 25-year-old Koh, Singapore's No. 1 women's amateur.
"I'm more comfortable thinking about catching up with the (leader) than simply thinking of the gold medal. Three strokes is definitely catchable."
Sarit Suwannarut (Tha) 215
Marc Ong 216
Natipong Srithong (Tha) 216
Tawan Phongphun (Tha) 217
Jonathan Woo 218
Johnson Poh 219
Suthavee Chanachai (Tha) 140
Koh Sock Hwee 143
Harmie Constantino (Phi) 145
Pajaree Anannarykarn (Tha) 146
Rivani Sihotang (Ina) 147
Benyapa Niphatsophon (Tha) 148
This article was first published on June 12, 2015.
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