XIAMEN, China, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- Three-time Asian Tour winner Marcus Both of Australia leveraged on his immense experience and sound course management to card a three-under-par 69 and seize the third-round lead by one at the Asian Golf Championship here on Saturday.
The 38-year-old Both, who claimed his breakthrough Asian Tour win at the 2003 Sanya Open in China, put on a flawless performance to compile a three-day total of six-under-par 210 at Kaikou Golf Club's West course.
Staying the day with a three-shot deficit, Both rode on his hot putter to stay bogey-free for 36 holes and move atop the leaderboard with birdies on the sixth, 14th and 15th holes at the challenging Greg Norman-designed course.
Overnight leader Xiao Bowen of China slipped to second following a 71 while Callum Tarren (70) of Britain and Namchok Tantipokhakul (74) of Thailand shared third on 213 in the US$350,000 event, co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and the China Golf Association.
The 27-year-old Xiao sits in 22nd place on the current China Tour Order of Merit. He's in the running for one of the five spots on offer to the Final Stage of the 2018 Asian Tour Qualifying School.
Liu Yanwei, the highest-ranked Chinese player on the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) in the field this week, remained in contention for a maiden win after battling to a 72 to stay five shots off the pace in fifth place on his own.
Tarren is making his Asian Tour debut this week and sits in third place on the current China Tour Order of Merit. He is riding high on his confidence after claiming a victory in China last month. A victory on Sunday will earn him the Order of Merit crown as well as playing rights on the European Tour next season.