Friday, 19 March 2010
The Stars and Stripes were fluttering over Saujana Golf & Country Club as Americans filled four of the top five places after three rounds of the Benson & Hedges Malaysian Open, presented by Carlsberg - and even the odd-man-out is resident in Las Vegas!

Arizona’s Gerry Norquist, who led by five shots at halfway, came back to the pack with a third round 75 but still found himself on top of the pile with a seven-under-par total of 209.

He leads by a single shot from English-born Las Vegas citizen, Ed Fryatt - who beat Lee Westwood in a play-off last year - and Shaun Micheel, also of the States. Fryatt birdied the last for a 71 while Micheel retuned a 70.

They are, in turn, one in front of European Tour player Bob May who, like Fryatt, lives among the glitz and slot machines of Las Vegas, and Christian Chernock from Texas.

May, a regular on the European Tour for the last three years, is still remembered for beating David Duval in the semi-finals of the Amateur Championship at Ganton in 1991. He joked: "I’m still waiting for the professional breakthrough while David is out there making millions in a couple of weeks! Hopefully one day I can go out there and join him and do the same thing."

Meanwhile Norquist held on to his lead, despite bogeying the opening three holes. He commented: "I’m not blaming anyone except myself. I made four bogeys out there and every one was my own fault due to bad shots or bad putting."

While the American challenge looks formidable, some of Europe’s most experienced competitors were preparing to launch a final round assault.

Alex Cejka, impressive winner of the Volvo Masters in 1995, shook off last week’s back problems in Australia to shoot a 69 which lifted him into a tie for sixth place on 212, four under par.

Irishman Paul McGinley and Swede Jarmo Sandelin, both winners of European Tour titles, displayed their resilience by firing rounds of 68 to move into contention on 213, the same score as up-and-coming young Englishman, Greg Owen.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
T1HAN, Kyi HlaMYA188
T1BENNETT, StephenENG188
3BOXALL, RichardENG 9
T6MAY, BobUSA--5
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