There could be a home winner at the Volvo China Open for the second year running after Hao Tong Li moved to within two shots of the lead after a 6-under-par 32-34=66 in Saturday's third round.
Ashun Wu made history at Tomson Shanghai Pudong Golf Club 12 months ago when he became the first Chinese player to win a European Tour event on home soil and Li is in line to repeat the feat after moving up to tied third on 14-under 202. It would be less of a surprise given that Li was sixth in this event last year but victory would still be a huge achievement given that he's just 20 years old. The youngster made his move at Topwin Golf & CC today by connecting four straight birdies at 5, 6, 7 and 8 before adding another at 11. His momentum was checked with a bogey-6 at 12 but he responded by circling further red at 14 and 18 to slot in just two behind joint leaders Lucas Bjerregaard and Felipe Aguilar. Once again, the European Tour provided no stats on his round.
Alex Noren maintained his title bid at the Volvo China Open in Beijing after handing in a 4-under-par 34-34=68 in Saturday's third round.
One back at start of play, the Swede now trails by two but at 14-under 202 he has leading duo Lucas Bjerregaard and Felipe Aguilar very much in his crosshairs. It was a wild ride for Noren on the front nine as he mixed an eagle-3 at 8 with a double bogey-6 at 5 along with birdies at 1, 3 and 7 and finally a bogey at 9. That added up to an outward 34, a score he matched coming home although in more serene style after seven pars and birdies at 11 and 18. The 33-year-old hit every green in regulation in round two but had to settle for 13 today. He could only save par twice although he needed just 26 putts.
Nicolas Colsaerts lifted the trophy at the 2011 Volvo China Open and is in position to win it for a second time after splashing seven birdies and no bogeys in a 7-under-par 34-31=65 in Saturday's third round.
That's just two swings behind joint leaders Lucas Bjerregaard and Felipe Aguilar. Colsaerts arrived at 14-under 202 thanks mainly to a burst of five birdies in seven holes. As well as those gains at 8, 10, 12, 13 and 14 he picked up further shots at 5 and 18 in favorable scoring conditions at the Ian Woosnam-designed Topwin Golf & CC in Beijing. As in round two, the big-hitting Belgian speared 16 greens in regulation and got up and down both times when he missed. Today's round followed an opening 70 and a Friday 67 so Colsaerts is stepping up his title bid each day. Despite the tournament moving to different courses, this event has been kind to him. As well as his win five years ago at Luxehills International, the former Ryder Cup star was runner-up at Binhai Lake in 2012 and also cracked the top 10 at Suzhou Jinji Lake in 2010.
Halfway leader Felipe Aguilar posted a 5-under-par 32-35=67 on day three of the Volvo China Open but now shares first place with Denmark's Lucas Bjerregaard on 16-under 200.
On a truly international leaderboard, the Chilean and the Dane enjoy a two-shot over Sweden's Alex Noren, England's Tyrrell Hatton, Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts and home player Hao Tong Li. On a day of low scoring at Topwin Golf & CC, Aguilar started fast and circled birdies at 1, 4, 5 and 8 to turn in 32 before picking up another shot at 11. He quietened after that with a bogey at 13 and five pars but a walk-off birdie at 18 pulled him alongside Bjerregaard. After hitting all 18 greens in regulation yesterday, Aguilar found 15 in the right number today after piping 10 (of 14) fairways. He'll be seeking a third European Tour victory on Sunday following previous wins at the Indonesian Open in 2008 and The Championship at Laguna National in 2014. Both those were in Asia so it's a part of the world where he clearly thrives.
Lucas Bjerregaard torched Topwin Golf & CC for a 7-under-par 33-32=65 in Saturday's third round and joined halfway leader Felipe Aguilar at the top of the Volvo China Open leaderboard with 18 holes to play.
For the second lap running, the Dane went bogey free and he's dropped just a single shot through his first 54 holes. Bjerregaard gave his round dramatic impetus by holing his second shot for an eagle-2 at the 483-yard par-4 4th hole and went to the turn in 33 after a birdie at 8. He circled further red at 11, 12, 16 and 18 on the back nine to arrive at 16-under 200 and share top spot with Aguilar. The pair are two in front of Alex Noren, Tyrrell Hatton, Hao Tong Li and Niocolas Colsaerts. For the third day running, Bjerregaard hit just 8 (of 14) fairways but so far this week he's missed just seven greens in regulation and is a perfect 7-for-7 in scrambling. The 24-year-old, who has three top fives in his last six starts in China, will be seeking a first European Tour title on Sunday.
The second round of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans was suspended at 7:31 p.m. CT due to darkness and is scheduled to resume at 7:45 a.m. on Saturday. UPDATE: R2 resumed as scheduled at 7:45 a.m.
They were able to get 11-and-half hours of golf in on Friday before the suspension. The entire late-early draw has 36 holes in the books, but all in the other half were stranded (minus 1 WD and 1 DQ) when the horn sounded. Of the 76 that didn't get to the finish line, Justin Hicks has 14 holes completed and is even-par on the round and 2-over for the tourney. When play resumes on Saturday, he'll be standing over a 34-footer for birdie on the par-4 15th. The 41-year-old is currently T92 on the leaderboard and two outside the projected cut line and will be fighting to play the final 36 holes for the fourth time in nine starts on the season and for the first time in his third visit to TPC Louisiana.
Cameron Percy patched together a 2-under-par 33-37=70 in today's second round of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans for a 36-hole total of 6-under 138, up nine places to T8 with play still in progress.
The 41-year-old is playing this season on conditional status after finishing 150th in the FedExCup standings last season. The Zurich marks just his seventh start in 2015-16 and his fifth at TPC Louisiana where he's 1-for-4 with a T43 on debut in 2010. Percy played 34 holes total on Friday after only getting two in the books on Day 1 before play was suspended. Summarizing his R1 resumption, he squared four bogeys but outpaced them with seven birdies. The Aussie took a short breather before getting on to his second frame and began with a 28'6" birdie on the par-4 first. Similar to his first lap, he bobbed and weaved the rest of the way circling four against three squares.
Bobby Wyatt twirled a 1-under-par 37-34=71 during the second round of the Zurich Classic to remain right in the mix at 6-under 138.
The University of Alabama alum struggled early in the round, three-putting at the par-4 first and par-4 fifth holes. In between he found water at the par-3 third hole. Wyatt swallowed bogeys on all three holes to drop back to 2-under on the week. The bounceback came at the par-5 seventh where he rolled in a 6'5" birdie and backed it up with a 33'1" birdie bomb on the next hole. The youngster added two more circles before the round was over and is currently just five strokes off the co-leaders as he enters the weekend. With no PGA TOUR status at the moment, a top-10 finish would be potentially life-changing for Wyatt. Even if he falters over the weekend, this experience should be a nice confidence booster as he heads into the Mackenzie Tour season.