Liang Wenchong of China will take a two-shot lead over Aaron Townsend of Australia into the final round of the China Masters after shooting a 3-under 68 on Saturday.
Liang, looking for his first win on the OneAsia tour since 2010, carded four birdies to go with one bogey for a total of 10-under 203.
Townsend (69) remained alone in second after a round that featured four birdies and two bogeys. It could have even been better after his tee shot on the par-3 17th hit the flag and stop an inch from the hole.
Y.E. Yang (68) of South Korea was four shots back in third. Three others, including Garrett Sapp of the United States, were a further three shots back.
Liang has led or had a share of the lead throughout the tournament and credited his improved form to a new driver and work with his putter. But the top-rated player in China admitted it was too early to start celebrating, especially with veterans like Yang in the hunt.
”The tournament is not finished yet and no one knows what will happen, but when I play it is only me,” Liang said. ”I will focus on my own game.”
Townsend, coming off his best finish on the OneAsia Tour this year, a sixth place at the High1 Resort Open, said he was just happy to be in the hunt going into the final round.
”I’m looking forward to the round tomorrow and playing with Liang again. He played really good, and I’m really impressed,” Townsend said. ”So to play with him and Yang tomorrow will be great.”
Yang admitted he was frustrated he couldn’t make up ground to Liang after shooting a second consecutive 3-under 68.
”It’s a little disappointing that I couldn’t cut into the lead, but I’ve still got one day,” Yang said. ”Nothing is impossible. I’ll try my hardest as it’s definitely worth a shot. I’m not going to say it can’t be done.”