The 35-year-old is bidding for back-to-back wins on the Mercedes-Benz Tour after his emphatic eight-stroke victory at the ICTSI Mt. Malarayat Championship in the Philippines.
Chawalit is on 10-under-par 206 for three rounds and leads big-hitting countryman Namchok Tantipokhakul, the 2009 Mercedes-Benz Tour Order of Merit champion, by a shot.
Former Asian number one Thaworn Wiratchant is close behind after a best-of-the-day 68 took him to within two shots of Chawalit.
High winds that buffeted Singha Park Golf Club made scoring difficult with scorecards scarred by bogeys as the conditions dominated the tone of play.
Chawalit shot four birdies offset by three bogeys and bemoaned his putting game. “I should be a lot better than 10 under par - I did not putt well today,” he said.
“The conditions were difficult today and I am happy to be still in the lead,” said the two-time winner on the Asian Tour.
Namchok reached the turn in one over 37 but three birdies on the inward nine saw him card a two under 70.
“It was very windy today and it was hard to control the ball,” he said.
“I had to be more controlled with my game but even then I did not hit my irons very well. I should have birdied the par five last hole but my approach was poor.”
Thaworn surprised himself with his 68 highlighted by four birdies in a five-hole stretch from the 11th hole.
“This is a very long course and I did not think I would have a chance of winning around here,” said the 43-year-old, who has won 11 titles on the Asian circuit.
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The 39-year-old South African star said he is still fit enough to play at the highest level