BELEK, Turkey: France’s Victor Dubuisson, champion in the inaugural Turkish Airlines Open in 2013, put himself into contention for a second title in three years when a five-under-par 67 gave him the joint lead after the third round.
In the first leg of the four-event Final Series of the European Tour, Dubuisson made four birdies in his last six holes on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) to catch up with South Africa’s Jaco van Zyl (70) at 16-under-par 200.
At the Montgomerie Maxx Royal course, the chasing pack during Sunday’s final round in the $7 million tournament will include world number three Rory McIlroy, who added a third straight 67 to tie for third place with Kiradech Aphibarnrat at 15-under-par 201.
Korea’s Byeong-Hun An (65), the reigning BMW PGA champion, and England’s Chris Wood (71) were tied fifth two shots behind McIlroy, while England’s Lee Westwood (69) was among a group of three players at joint seventh place at 12-under-par.
More than halfway through the round, nothing much had changed on the leader- board with overnight leader van Zyl holding steady with a birdie on the fourth hole.
The only players making an early charge were American Peter Uihlein (67) and An, but they had started the day too far back from van Zyl to trouble him.
It was 36-year-old Thai Aphibarnrat who put the pressure on van Zyl first, making five birdies in his first eight holes, but he then lost the momentum a bit in the middle.
Aphibarnrat could have finished tied for the lead, but a wild second shot to the par-5 18th resulted in a closing bogey and tied third place.
McIlroy, who did not have any bogeys in his first two rounds of 67, made two, courtesy of three-putts on the third and 10th holes.
But a brilliant four-iron second that set up an eight-foot eagle putt on the 13th kickstarted his round and he finished two birdies after that, including at the 18th.