Rumford closing in on another title

05/05/2013 08:46:50
Brett Rumford   (Getty Images)
Brett Rumford (Getty Images)
Australia's Brett Rumford remained the man to beat during the final round of the Volvo China Open.

Rumford, chasing back-to-back European Tour titles after winning the Ballantine's Championship in Korea last week, began the day with a one shot lead over playing partner Mikko Ilonen.

The 35 year old from Perth extended that to a three shot cushion on 15 under par with a flawless front nine of 33 at Binhai Lake Golf Club.

Rumford birdied the second, fifth and sixth before saving par on the ninth with a brilliant long-range bunker shot, keeping his bogey tally for the week as low as two in the process.

Ilonen, seeking a first win since 2007, also birdied the par five second but could only par the other eight holes to lie 12 under.

France's Victor Dubuisson was a shot further back on 11 under after four birdies in his first ten holes.

Ilonen had not thrown in the towel, however, and birdied the tenth from 20 feet before driving through the green on the short par four 11th.

From there he chipped up to six feet and holed for another birdie to move to 14 under and cut the gap to just one shot.

Rumford responded with a birdie on the par five 12th, hitting a driver off the fairway for his second shot that looked set to land in a greenside bunker.

However, the ball finished on a strip of grass outside the sand and Rumford - with one foot perched on wooden sleepers - played a superb shot to three feet to move two ahead.