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Casey Jarvis takes narrow lead into final round in Japan

Casey Jarvis takes narrow lead into final round in Japan

Casey Jarvis will take a one-shot lead into the final round of the ISPS HANDA - CHAMPIONSHIP after an adventurous bogey-free 64 on day three at Taiheiyo Club Gotemba Course.

The South African was three shots back after completing his second round early in the morning but was in a share of the lead at the turn after making four birdies on the front nine.

He rode his luck at times on the way home but two further gains moved him to 13 under and gave him a slim advantage over Germany's Yannik Paul, who signed for a 68.

Local duo Ryosuke Kinoshita and Keita Nakajima, China's Li Haotong, Swede Sebastian Söderberg and Frenchman Tom Vaillant were then at 11 under, with 16 players within three shots of the lead.

European Challenge Tour graduate Jarvis is enjoying a consistent debut season on the DP World Tour, sitting inside the top 50 on the Race to Dubai Rankings in Partnership with Rolex having made 11 of 13 cuts coming into this week with a top ten at the Alfred Dunhill Championship.

He won the Euram Bank Open last season on the Challenge Tour but the 20-year-old now holds the 54-hole lead at a DP World Tour event for the first time, with plenty at stake in the penultimate event of the Asian Swing.

The player who finishes top of the Rankings will win $200,000 and gain entry to the Back Nine events and the leading DP World Tour member (not otherwise exempt) will also qualify for the Genesis Scottish Open. Those who finish in positions one to three will also be exempt into the U.S. PGA Championship.

"It would mean the world to win," he said. "I've worked pretty hard for this so I'll just go out tomorrow and stay patient and play every hole as it comes."

He added: "It played pretty tricky, I don't find it very easy to get near these flags so I kind of played smart and just managed my game well around the course.

"I've been putting well this week so I made a few good par putts. My goal at the start of the day was to go bogey-free, I did it yesterday and again today which doesn't happen very often with me - I'm pleased about that."

Just as in round two, joint overnight leaders Paul and Söderberg made fast starts, with Paul holing a 12-footer at the second and then a long putt to complete a smart up-and-down on the par-five third.

Playing partner Söderberg joined him in the lead as he hit a spectacular second from 287 yards to six feet to set up an eagle on the third and led alone with a 12-foot putt on the fourth.

Jarvis, meanwhile, had birdied the first from six feet and two-putted the third before he put his tee-shot to seven feet on the par-three seventh to get to double figures.

A 15-footer on the ninth saw him turn in 31 and he was soon in a share of the lead after Söderberg found water on the sixth to surrender a double-bogey.

Jarvis got a lucky break out of the trees on the 11th to save par and an even luckier one on the 14th after finding the cart path, taking full advantage to leave himself a tap-in for the solo lead.

A poor chip on the sixth and failure to get up and down on the eighth had dropped Paul back before he holed from 15 feet on the 12th, while Söderberg was in the trees on the 12th but picked the shot back up with an excellent approach on the 14th.

That left both men within one of the lead but they were soon two back as Jarvis, after an excellent par save from the sand on the 17th, made a two-putt birdie on the last to edge two ahead, with Paul then getting up and down on the par five to apply some extra pressure going into Sunday.

Söderberg carded a 69, five shots more than Li who made a two-putt birdie on the last in a 64 which contained seven further gains and two bogeys.

Nakajima started his round with a dropped shot but recovered with four birdies in his last five holes for a 65, while countryman Kinoshita was bogey-free with four birdies in a 66.

Vaillant held a share of the lead after making a third birdie of the day on the eighth but made no further progress up the leaderboard in signing for a 67.

Local quartet Yuto Katsuragawa, Masahiro Kawamura, Taihei Sato and Yuta Sugiura, Spaniard Ivan Cantero, Swiss Joel Girrbach, Frenchman Matthieu Pavon, German Marcel Schneider and England's Matthew Southgate were at ten under.

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