(Reuters) – England’s Gary Lockerbie and China's Liang Wen-chong moved into a share of the lead on 12 under par 204 after the third round of the Clariden Leu Singapore Masters at the Laguna National Golf Club.
Liang, who led after the first round, birdied the 18th for a four under par 68 to join Lockerbie one stroke clear of the field after the Englishman bogeyed the last to complete his three under par 69.
Overnight leader Jyoti Randhawa of India stands alone in third place on 11 under par 205, with Malaysia's Iain Steel and Ireland's Peter Lawrie a further shot adrift in a tie for fourth. Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee and Simon Dyson of England share sixth place on nine under par 207 in the co-sanctioned European Tour and Asian Tour event.
For much of the day, Randhawa and Steel were battling it out for the lead, while Liang and Lockerbie were quietly moving up the leaderboard before the top two faltered on the back nine.
The 28 year old Liang registered six birdies and two bogeys and did well to recover from a bogey on the first hole that left him four shots behind the leader.
Lockerbie, a European Challenge Tour graduate, surged into the outright lead with four birdies and four pars on the back nine before he missed his six-foot par putt on the last.
“It was a pity about the 18th but I would definitely have taken being tied for the lead after today,” said the Englishman. “I would have taken 69 today as well so I am just going to forget about what happened at the last. I think the birdie I made down the 17th was a bit of a bonus anyway so that is what happens.”
Lockerbie led after three rounds of the prestigious Lytham Trophy during his days in the amateur ranks, before going on to win, but being at the head of affairs in a professional tournament, he admitted, was new territory.
“It is a bit of a new experience but I’m sure I’ll be fine. As for tomorrow, I’ll try and do much the same as the rest of the week really, just try to get off to a steady start and not try to do anything fancy because I don’t think it is going to be a really low score which wins tomorrow
“If I can knock it round in three or four under tomorrow I’m not going to be far away. I will try hard but not too hard because if you try too hard that is when things start going wrong. Just keep plodding away and hopefully the putts will start dropping and hopefully I won’t be too far away.”
Joint leader Liang birdied three of the last seven holes to get back into contention and it was a finish Randhawa would have given anything for, the Indian golfer covering the same stretch in two over par. But the European Tour Member admitted he was delighted looking at the bigger picture.
“Like I said the other day, I am not playing all that great but I am managing to keep myself together and that is sort of what I did,” he said. “Coming in I dropped a few shots which I shouldn’t have done but I am pleased to just be one shot off the lead and still having a chance going into tomorrow.
Also making a significant move up the leaderboard was 2005 champion Nick Dougherty of Britain, who registered seven birdies in a six-under-par 66 to stand four shots off the pace after squeezing into the weekend on the cut-line of two-under-par.
Defending champion Mardan Mamat of Singapore, registered a two under par 70 to finish three rounds on five under par 211 for the tournament, probably too far behind to mount a serious challenge for a repeat triumph on Sunday.
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