REUTERS - Dylan Frittelli continued his impressive recent form on Saturday after carding a bogey-free eight-under-par 64 to take a three-shot lead into the final day of the China Open.
Challenge Tour graduate Frittelli, who finished a season best tied for fifth at Shenzhen last week, followed up his clubhouse record-equalling 63 at Topwin Golf and Country Club on Friday with a eight birdies to finish 19-under.
Overnight leader Pablo Larrazabal stretched the lead to four shots early in the day but two bogeys on the front nine saw him slip behind the South African Frittelli, who is in search of his first European Tour title.
“I like to think I would keep the same game plan tomorrow and maybe adjust on the back nine depending on the situation,” Frittelli said.
“Pablo played great out there today as well. He’s not going to lie down, he is one of the toughest guys to get into a dog fight with on the European Tour. So I‘m definitely going to be wary of him tomorrow.”
The 33-year-old Spaniard recovered with three consecutive birdies from the 10th to post 70 on day three, the nearest challenger on the leaderboard. He was followed by 2014 winner Alexander Levy of France at 12-under-par for the tournament.
Levy stuttered in the beginning, losing two shots on the fourth-hole and needed birdies on the eighth, 11th and 15th to finish with 71.
Chris Wood, who has struggled during the early part of 2017, found his groove on day three by firing six birdies on the front nine to card 65 and get up to 11-under-par.
The Englishman finished one shot clear of South Korean Moon Kyong-jun and last week’s winner Bernd Wiesberger of Austria.
Moon was spotless in his round of 66, while world number 30 Wiesberger finished with a 69 after a mixed bag on the front nine which included two bogeys and an eagle.
Defending champion Li Haotong and Yi Cao shared the seventh spot and remained in contention alongside South African George Coetzee, England’s Ross Fisher and Lee Soo-min of South Korea.
Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar