Saturday, 23 March 2019
Nacho Elvira  (Getty Images)
Nacho Elvira (Getty Images)
Nacho Elvira sat at the top of a congested leaderboard as he reached the turn on day three of the Maybank Championship.

The Spaniard is still searching for his maiden European Tour title and he did his chances no harm on the front nine on Saturday, firing four birdies and no bogeys to get to 11 under par.

And that gave him a one-shot advantage over nearest challengers David Lipsky, Jazz Janewattananond and Scott Hend with nine holes left to play.

Elvira started the day a single shot behind halfway leader Thomas Pieters after he carded a double bogey and a bogey in two consecutive holes on his back nine on Friday to fall from the summit.

But he made amends early on day three, tapping in his close-range birdie putt at the par-five first before sending his approach into the third to within a few feet to join Pieters at the summit.

The 32-year-old took the outright lead when he made another gain from a similar distance at the long fifth.

And he kept his foot on the gas, launching his tee shot to around four feet from the pin at the seventh and knocking in his birdie putt to get to 11 under.

Elvira came agonisingly close to holing his chip shot for another birdie on the ninth but it narrowly avoided the hole.

Frenchman Benjamin Hebert was alongside Maximilian Kieffer on nine under after notching an eagle and five birdies in his first 17 holes to surge up the leaderboard. 

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