Frenchman Alexander Levy suffered a late wobble but stayed on course for a maiden European Tour title after his two-under-par 70 earned him a three-shot lead going into Sunday's final round of the China Open.
The 23-year-old Frenchman, who shot a sparkling 62 at Genzon Golf Club on Friday to surge ahead, nailed a 15-foot putt at the last to finish 16-under-par and three ahead of Spaniard Alvaro Quiros who shot his second successive 68.
“My target was to do a good job, like the first two rounds, but it was difficult with the rain coming,” Levy told the European tour after his round that included five birdies and three bogeys.
Levy was briefly five shots clear after a birdie from five feet at the second but he was bunkered off the tee at the third and failed to get up and down for par.
“I'm going to play good golf and take some pleasure from the golf course, because it's a very nice course to play. I want to continue to play like I have for the first three rounds and to enjoy the moment.
“I will be nervous, but because you're nervous doesn't mean you can't play well.”
Levy dropped shots on the 14th and 16th but Quiros, without a top-four finish in Europe since recording the last of his six victories in 2011, could not capitalise on it.
“It has been a tough day, especially with that finish,” said the Spaniard who bogeyed the 15th and dropped another shot at the last.
“I am three shots back going into the final round but that is nothing in this game. The only thing that I can say is that I am trying with all that I have. Tomorrow I have a chance and that is good to know,” said Quiros.
Englishman Ian Poulter fired 67 to move into six-under, quite a comeback after nearly missing the cut following his incorrect drop on Friday.
Finland's Mikko Ilonen signed for a 67 to lie third on 12-under, with England's Tommy Fleetwood and Spain's Adrian Otaegui a shot further back. – Reuters