Kuala Lumpur, February 11: Reigning Masters champion Danny Willett stormed into a three-shot lead after carding a five-under-par 67 in the third round of the Maybank Championship.
The 29-year-old Englishman nailed six birdies, including two on the final two holes, to set the pace on 16-under-par at Saujana Golf & Country Club’s Palm Course. His closest challenger is 2014 Asian Tour Order of Merit champion David Lipsky of the United States, who shot a solid 68.
Frenchman Alexander Levy carded a 67 to lie in third place four back of Willett, while a shot further adrift in joint fourth place were Thailand’s Panuphol Pittayarat, Korea’s KT Kim, France’s Gregory Havret and Michael Lorenzo-Vera, and halfway leader Bernd Wiesberger of Austria.
“I would have taken a 67 at the start of the day. It spreads the top five and top six guys out a bit more and further away, and I’m probably going to go hit a few and make a few little minor tweaks here and there and try to get the driver to where it’s been most of the week,” said Willett, who is chasing his sixth European Tour win.
“I’m not sure what will win it to be honest, depends on if we pitch up and it’s flat calm. I think there are a few guys that can go low if it’s windy like this. One or two under par is a good knock out there so I think it all depends on the weather tomorrow,” he added.
Lipsky noted that it would be ‘neat’ competing against his good friend Willett.
“I drove it well and scrambled well and I’m pretty happy with what I shot. I’ll need to take advantage of the par fives. Danny and I are friends and it’ll be neat out there competing,” he said.