Austrian Bernd Wiesberger carded a scorching nine-under-par 63 to move two shots clear after the third round of the Maybank Malaysian Open.
Wiesberger got off to a hot start on a sunny Saturday with birdies on his first five holes at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club’s West Course. Three closing birdies saw him top the leaderboard with a total of 17-under-par 199, two shots ahead of Spaniard Alejandro Canizares who finished eagle-birdie-bogey for a 68.
England’s Paul Waring had two eagles in his round of 65 to lie third alongside compatriot and defending champion Lee Westwood, who birdied the last two holes for a 69. India’s Anirban Lahiri posted the round of the week, a stunning 62 to jump up to fifth place.
Wiesberger started the third round three back of co-leaders Canizares and Westwood but shot to the front with a magnificent display of golf.
“I caught up with the leaders early which was good and finished off well,” said the 29-year-old Austrian.
“Everyone was making birdies early on and it was nice to be amongst that. I’ve shot 64 a few times on tour but this is the lowest. There are a lot of good scores out there, as we saw today, so I’ll be trying to make some birdies again and play as well as I did today,” he added.
Defending champion Westwood is hoping to join Terry Gale as the only player to win three Maybank Malaysian Open titles but fell three back after battling to a 69 which included two closing birdies.
“I didn’t play particularly well, so I was pleased to shoot 69 which keeps me in the hunt,” said the Englishman.
Lahiri shot up the leaderboard with an outward 30 and sank four more birdies for a 10-under-par 62, the low round on the West Course since it reopened following refurbishments in 2008 – although it will not be considered an official record due to the preferred lies rule in effect this week.
Round 3 Scores (Top 10 and ties):
199 – Bernd WIESBERGER (AUT) 70-66-63
201 – Alejandro CANIZARES (ESP) 68-65-68
202 – Paul WARING (ENG) 69-68-65, Lee WESTWOOD (ENG) 66-67-69
204 – Anirban LAHIRI (IND) 70-72-62
205 – Paul PETERSON (USA) 72-69-64
206 – Richard T. LEE (CAN) 69-69-68
207 – Jake HIGGINBOTTOM (AUS) 69-71-67, Alvaro QUIROS (ESP) 70-70-67
208 – Gregory BOURDY (FRA) 70-70-68