WALLACE, OTAEGUI HEAD TIGHT LEADERBOARD AT VOLVO CHINA OPEN

Beijing (CHINA): England's Matt Wallace and Adrian Otaegui of Spain will take a narrow one-shot lead into the final day of the RMB 20 million Volvo China Open at Beijing Huairou Topwin Golf and Country Club tomorrow (April 29).

Overnight leader Wallace carded a three-under par 69, while Otaegui went two better with a five-under par 67 to tie for the lead at the end of day three on -12. But with the next 16 players covered by just two shots, China's national open golf championship remains up for grabs going into the final day.

Wallace had looked set to remain alone at the top of the leaderboard until a bogey on the par four 17th blighted a round that contained four birdies. But after rescuing a par on the last after a poor drive into the trees, the Englishman was relieved to walk away with a share of the lead.

"I was definitely a bit up and down today both with my game and my emotions," he said. "I was gutted with that bogey-par finish and I was probably too hyped up after making a massive par save at 16.

"Of course, it is frustrating but I'm playing really good golf so there's not much more I can do – I just had to grind it out today. I played well, it should have been lower, but it's not and I'm tied for the lead so overall I'm pretty happy. If I play the same again tomorrow, then I'll have a chance of a few birdies."

For 25 year-old Otaegui, it was a perfect day with a flurry of five consecutive birdies and no dropped shots in his third round 67.

"It was a good day and I pretty much played well from start to finish," said the Spaniard who has won just once on The European Tour. "Five birdies in a row certainly helped me, especially with no dropped shots on the card. I think I've been consistent all week and my ball striking is going well so I'm more than happy with my game."

The pair will go out in the final two-ball on Sunday (April 29) with a pack of Europe, Asia and China's best snapping at their heels. One shot behind sit Sweden's Alexander Bjork, Spain's Jorge Campillo and Frenchman Julie Guerrier on -11, while six other players – including Ireland's Paul Dunne - are tied together in joint sixth place on -10.

"My round was pretty solid although I didn't feel fully in control of my game so to shoot a 67 and have no bogeys is good and I've given myself a chance," said Dunne. "I think I need to shoot a really good round again tomorrow but hopefully I'll get off to a good start and give myself a chance."

Last year Alexander Levy pulled off a seven-stroke comeback to win in Beijing but if the defending champion is to win a third Chinese crown in 2018 he won't have to dig so deep this time.

The Frenchman is just three shots behind having bounced back superbly carding eight birdies in a third-round score of 65 (-7) to move to nine-under and is one of seven players tied for 12th. The only two-time winner of the Volvo China Open, Levy said he was much more at ease on the course.

"The course was in good condition with not too much wind, so I could be really aggressive," he said. "I holed some nice putts and only made one mistake when I three-putted from five feet on the tenth after making four straight birdies."

Among the others still in with a fighting chance of lifting the Volvo China Open's Scandinavian Horizon trophy is the highest-placed Chinese player and the 2015 champion Wu Ashun who shot seven birdies in a sizzling third round 66 (-6) to move to nine-under par alongside Levy.

Of the other home-grown players, Hongfu Wu and day one leader Daxing Jin both shot 69 and are seven-under par, while Haotong Li (72) is on four-under with Yanwei Liu (72) and Xuewen Luo (76) on one-under and level par respectively.

The final round of the 2018 Volvo China Open will get underway at 6.50am on Sunday (April 29) with the last two players teeing off at 12.45pm

 

Volvo China Open Leading Scores After Round Three

204 (-12) Otaegui (ESP), Wallace (ENG)

205 (-11) Bjork (SWE), Guerrier (FRA), Campillo (ESP)

206 (-10) Choi (KOR), Pavan (ITA), Dunne (IRE), Wang (KOR), Kim (USA), Elvira (ESP)

207 (-9) Levy (FRA), Sordet (FRA), Wu (CHN), Manassero (ITA), Bertasio (ITA), Lee (KOR), Scrivener (AUS)

(2018-04-28)

 

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