Overnight leader Matt Wallace of England battled to a three-under-par 69 to remain atop the leaderboard, sharing the honours with Adrian Otaegui of Spain, who caught up with him with a birdie blitz, following a low-scoring day at the Volvo China Open on Saturday.
The 28-year-old Wallace, who held an overnight one-shot lead, nailed four birdies against a bogey for a three-day total of 12-under-par 204 at the Topwin Golf and Country Club. Otaegui matched his efforts after sinking five straight birdies starting from the eighth hole for a flawless 67.
Alexander Bjork of Sweden posted a 67 to share third place with Julien Guerrier of France and Jorge Campillo of Spain, who carded matching 68s, in the CN¥20,000,000 (approx. US$3,178,000) event, which is the oldest professional golf tournament in the country.
Korean talent Jeunghun Wang and American Sihwan Kim were among those bunched in sixth place on 206 following respective rounds of 68 and 70 in the 24th edition of the Volvo China Open, tri-sanctioned by the Asian Tour, European Tour and the China Golf Association.
Ashun Wu, a former winner of the Volvo China Open in 2015, emerged as the highest-placed Chinese player after signing for a commendable 66 to stay three shots off the pace in tied-12th position. He is one of the six local players who made the halfway cut.
Defending champion Alexander Levy of France fired a low round of 65 to move within three, giving himself an outside chance of winning the tournament for a record third time. He first won in 2014.
He is also chasing for back-to-back victories on the European Tour after winning in Morocco last week. Levy was seven shots off the lead going into the final round of the 2017 Volvo China Open.
Who said what?
Matt Wallace (Eng) – Third round 69 (-3), Total 204 (-12)
It was up and down today as you could see with my emotions out there. I’m really gutted to finish with a bogey and a par on the last two holes. After the big putt at 16 for par I was a bit too hyped up really and I needed a second on the tee there just to slow myself down and get the ball in play.
I had a chance at par at 17 and missed it and then it was just a bad tee shot down the last. Again, it was frustrating but I’m playing really good golf so there’s not much else I can do. I hit it quite close on a few of them, including on nine but it was a tough putt and I missed it on the low side.
Then I was grinding through. I had a good look on 11 at the right edge of the green as they were a frustrating few holes but I’m still up there.
I’m playing really nicely, I’m hitting it long and straight and if I do that tomorrow I’ll have a few chances at birdies. We’re tied for the lead so I’m pretty happy.
Adrian Otaegui (Esp) – Third round 67 (-5), Total 204 (-12)
I played well from the beginning to the end. I made a couple of mistakes but was able to make pars. That five birdies in a row helped me a lot to a five-under-par 67. I found the green in two on the eighth and make two putts for birdies.
I made good putts on ninth and 10th as well. I hit it onto the green again on the 11th and made a good up and down for birdie on 12th. It was a good run there for me. I managed to par the remaining holes after that.
I think I have been very consistent all week. I am striking the ball well and feeling well so I am happy with that.