Lee Westwood remained in control of the Maybank Malaysian Open midway through the third round began at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club.
The Englishman, seventh in last week’s Masters Tournament, started the day four shots ahead of the chasing pack but swiftly saw hat advantage halved by Antonio Lascuna despite a birdie from 20 feet at the first.
The former World Number One missed a short par putt at the next, with the Philippines’ Lascuna matching Westwood’s gain at the first with a ten foot birdie and holed a 25 footer at the third to get within two.
But Westwood found himself five in front when he birdied the long fifth, where 43 year old Lascuna hit his drive left into trees, then hit his fourth from the fairway into water and ran up a triple bogey eight.
Turning in 35 saw Westwood sit on 14 under, three ahead of compatriots Andy Sullivan and Danny Willett, with Swede Rikard Karlberg and France’s Julien Quesne a shot further back.
Willett almost holed his approach to the ninth for a fifth gain of the day to turn in 33, while former Walker Cup star Sullivan went one better after a hat-trick of birdies from the fifth.
Westwood stretched his lead to four shots once more with a birdie from 18 feet on the 11th, the par three which had cost him a double bogey on Friday when his tee shot found the water guarding the green.
But Sullivan quickly reduced the gap to three with a birdie of his own from similar distance on the 12th, while Willett dropped five off the pace after failing to get up and down from a greenside bunker on the 13th.
Karlberg's challenge had also stalled with a double bogey on the 17th, but Nicolas Colsaerts finally found a birdie on the short par four 15th to improve to ten under.