Joel Sjoholm (Getty Images)
Sweden’s Joel Sjöholm carded a flawless five under par 65 to grab the clubhouse lead during the third round of the Hong Kong Open.
The 28 year old lost his European Tour card at the end of the 2013 season, but can get it back with victory in Fanling.
Five birdies at Hong Kong Golf Club, including a superb 30 foot putt at the 18th, took him to seven under par and level with overnight leader Jbe Kruger, Welshman Stuart Manley and English pair Oliver Fisher and Steve Webster.
“I’m pretty excited to be where I am right now,” said Sjöholm. “Whatever happens tomorrow it’s been a great week for me.
“It has been a struggle the whole year for me so hopefully I can have a good day tomorrow and bring myself back for 2014.”
Kruger came home in 30 for a 66 on Friday, but dropped a shot at the first today after his approach found a bunker.
He got the shot back at the long third to be level par for the day through seven holes, while playing partner Manley was one under after holing a 25 footer at the seventh.
Fisher and Webster both enjoyed good runs on the back nine; Fisher producing three birdies and an eagle in four holes from the 12th, while Webster had a hat-trick of gains form the same hole.
Defending champion Miguel Angel Jiménez, his fellow Spaniard and the 2007 winner José Manuel Lara, American David Lipsky, Finn Jaakko Makitalo, Thai Prom Meesawat, Australian Wade Ormsby and India’s Shiv Kapur were all one behind the leading quintet.
Qualifying School graduate Manley made headlines last month when he followed a hole-in-one with an 11 at the ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf, having thought he had won a car for his ace then being told it was only on offer in the final round.
And Manley was denied again when his tee shot to the eighth – which also features a car as a prize – finished millimetres from the cup, although the tap-in birdie took him into the lead on eight under.
Webster holed from 15 feet on the 16th to join him in the lead, and 2007 winner Lara – another without a full card for The 2014 Race to Dubai – had a hat-trick of gains from the 13th to make it a three-way tie at the top.