Turkish Airlines Open
Regnum Carya Golf & Spa Resort, Antalya, Turkey 01 Nov 2018 - 04 Nov 2018
Saturday, 03 November 2018
Li Haotong  (Getty Images)
Li Haotong (Getty Images)

Li Haotong picked up seven shots in his first ten holes to open up a one-shot lead over defending champion Justin Rose on day three of the Turkish Airlines Open.

The Chinese started the day at Regnum Carya Golf & Spa Resort three shots behind overnight leader Rose but turned in 29 and then made a spectacular eagle on the par four tenth to get to 16 under.

The World Number Two would not be shaken off, however, turning in 31 himself to keep within touching distance as he looks to become just the third man to win multiple Rolex Series titles.

Rose has finished in the top ten at five of his last six European Tour events and would move back to the top of the Official World Golf Ranking with a victory.

Li held off the challenge of Rory McIlroy to win the Dubai Desert Classic earlier in the season and is looking for European Tour title number three.

Frenchman Alexander Levy, England's Tom Lewis and Dane Thorbjørn Olesen were 11 under.

The 23 year old birdied the first and some dialled-in iron play allowed him to make birdies from five and two feet on the fourth and fifth to get into a share of the lead.

Rose put his own approach at the fourth to five feet to take the solo lead again but ahead on the sixth Li made it three in a row from eight feet.

Rose was clearly in the zone as well, however, and he chipped in on the fifth before putting his tee-shot on the sixth to three feet for a hat-trick of his own and a two-shot lead.

A three-putt on the seventh cut the lead to one and when Li chipped in on the ninth, he turned in 29 and was back in a share.

Better was to come on the next as his second from the fairway on the par four found the back fringe and rolled slowly back into the cup for an eagle and a two-shot lead.

Rose is made of tough stuff though, and he put his approach on the ninth to five feet and cut the gap to one.

Olesen holed an eight-footer on the first and had a tap-in on the fourth but made back-to-back bogeys on the sixth and seventh before picking a shot back up on the ninth.

Playing partner Levy holed a huge right-to-lefter up the hill on the second and made a smart birdie of his own from distance on the ninth.

Lewis missed the green and hit a poor chip on the second for a double-bogey but picked up a shot on the fourth and two excellent tee-shots into the the par-three sixth and eighth got him back into red numbers.

South African Thomas Aiken, Ireland's Paul Dunne and English duo Sam Horsfield and Danny Willett were six shots off the lead.

A Rolex Series Event

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1ROSE, JustinENG18-17
2LI, HaotongCHN18-17
T3OTAEGUI, AdrianESP18-15
T3DETRY, ThomasBEL18-15
T5KAYMER, MartinGER18-14

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