England’s Lee Westwood saw his lead whittled down to a single stroke by compatriot Andy Sullivan as an exciting final round beckons at the Maybank Malaysian Open.
Westwood, seventh in last week’s Masters Tournament, started the day four shots ahead of the chasing pack and at one stage his lead was five, but a closing bogey saw him sign for a third round 71.
The 40 year old sits 14 under par, with former Walker Cup star Sullivan one back following a 66, France’s Julien Quesne third on ten under and Nicolas Colsaerts a shot further back in fourth.
Westwood swiftly saw his overnight advantage halved by Antonio Lascuna despite a birdie from 20 feet at the first, the former World Number One missing a short par putt at the next while Lascuna birdied two of his first three holes.
But Westwood found himself five in front when he birdied the long fifth, where 43 year old Filipino Lascuna hit his drive out of bounds then compounded the error by finding water with his fourth shot.
Westwood turned three clear but 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, who turned in 33, quickly reduced the gap to three with a birdie of his own from similar distance on the 12th.
Sullivan, who finished second in the Trophée Hassan II last month, reduced the gap further with a curling birdie putt on the 16th and parred the final two holes to record an excellent 66.
And when Westwood bogeyed the 18th after finding a fairway bunker with his second shot, there was just one shot between the English pair heading into Sunday's final round.
“It was tricky out there,” said Westwood. “I didn’t play as well as I did the first two days, but there were some difficult flags and it was really hot.
“That’s as hot as I’ve been on a golf course for quite some time. It was a real grind, but I’m leading going into the last round so I’m quite happy with that.”
Sullivan, seeking a maiden European Tour title, added: “I played well again and tried to limit my mistakes.
“I only made one mistake but I got it back straight away. I’m delighted with the way I finished.
“I felt myself getting a bit tired coming up 15 and 16. I made a couple of sloppy swings but I didn’t drop any shots. I holed a good putt on 16 to keep the momentum going.”