BEIJING: Three-time European Tour champion Bernd Wiesberger extended his lead in the tense third round of the Shenzhen International on Saturday.
Wiesberger, who has not missed a cut in the last eight months, scored three under par on the third day of play of the storm-interrupted tournament in southern China.
The 31-year-old Austrian had taken a commanding clubhouse lead on Friday with a four-shot overnight advantage before heavy rain and lightning halted play for the second day in a row.
Others caught up quickly to him as skies cleared early Saturday, with both France’s Grégory Bourdy and Finland’s Mikko Korhonen making a hole-in-one.
But a strong performance later in the day from Wiesberger put him at a score of 69 and a 15 under par total.
“I didn’t start off really well,” he said. “I hit a couple of crooked shots and left a couple of putts out there but then from when I holed the putt on seven I felt more comfortable.”
Coming in behind Wiesberger after a big finish was South Africa’s Dylan Frittelli at 12-under-overall.
The United States’ heavily favoured Bubba Watson slid to seventh position with ten-under overall after making clubhouse leader in the first round.
“The guys were coming at me hard early on today as well so I’m expecting no less for tomorrow, so I’m just trying to commit to my shots and enjoy it out there,” Wiesberger said.
Korhonen’s hole-in-one while completing his second round early in the morning won him a BYD electric car, worth $43,500.
Local favourite Li Haotong, ranked 151 in the world and winner of the Volvo China Open last year, had missed the cut for round three.
This is the third edition of the Shenzhen International at the Genzon Golf Club — the first Chinese course to host multiple European Tour events.