SHANGHAI (AP) — Hideki Matsuyama of Japan kept a clean card Saturday and made just enough birdies for a 4-under 68 to maintain his three-shot lead in the HSBC Champions.
Matsuyama had made 19 birdies over the opening two rounds. He was even more satisfied with the third round because he played bogey-free for the first time all week at Sheshan International and didn’t give anyone much of a chance to close the gap.
Matsuyama made three of his birdies on the par 5s, including the final hole when he belted a 3-wood from 248 yards over the corner of the lake and onto the green, and he nearly holed the 25-foot eagle attempt. Matsuyama was at 17-under 199 as he goes for his first World Golf Championship title.
Defending champion Russell Knox made a pair of birdies on the back nine and to keep in range, though he never could get closer than two shots of Matsuyama. Knox also shot a 68 and will be in the final group for the second straight year at the HSBC Champions.
Joining them will be Daniel Berger, who has used his short game to stay in contention. That was never more evident than the 18th hole, when he pushed his fairway metal into the middle of the lake and still managed to get up-and-down from the fairway to save par. Berger shot a 67 and was four shots behind.
Francesco Molinari, who won this WGC in 2010, had a 68 and joined Bill Haas (70) at 12-under 204.
SIME DARBY LPGA MALAYSIA
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Shanshan Feng birdied four of her final six holes after a long lightning delay to top the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia leaderboard when darkness suspended play.
The 27-year-old Chinese player had a one-stroke lead over fellow major champion Anna Nordqvist of Sweden. Feng was 7 under for the day and 13 under overall on the 18th tee when play was stopped at TPC Kuala Lumpur. Nordqvist was on the par-5 16th.
Play was delayed for 4 hours, 39 minutes by the lightning and periods of heavy rain, leaving only 90 minutes of light left when the action resumed.
Feng won the 2014 tournament for the last of her four LPGA Tour titles. She bogeyed the par-4 11th before the delay, then reeled off birdies on par-5 12th, par-4 14th, par-3 15th and par-5 16th. She made a 20-foot eagle putt on the par-5 sixth in a front-nine 31.
Feng was third in the Olympics in August, the start of a string of five top-four finishes — the best a second behind Ha Na Jang three weeks ago in Taiwan.
Nordqvist was 5 under for the round. Amy Yang was third at 11 under with three holes left.
POWERSHARES QQQ CHAMPIONSHIP
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) — Tom Pernice Jr. had four straight birdies and shot an 8-under 64 for a share of the PowerShares QQQ Championship lead with Brandt Jobe.
Jobe had a 66 to match Pernice at 11-under 133 at Sherwood in the PGA Tour Champions’ playoff opener.
Pernice began the run on the par-5 11th and also birdied the par-3 12th, par-5 13th and par-4 14th. The four-time tour winner birdied another par 5 on 16 and closed with two pars.
Jobe had eight birdies and two bogeys.
First-round leader Colin Montgomerie (69) was a stroke back along with Rocco Mediate (65) and Olin Browne (66). Mediate played alongside Pernice, and matched him with birdies on Nos. 11-14.
Fred Couples was tied for 22nd at 4 under after a 72 in in his first tournament in eight months. The 57-year-old Couples was sidelined by a chronic back injury.
SANDERSON FARMS CHAMPIONSHIP
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Chris Kirk and Luke List each shot 7-under 65 to share the third-round lead in the Sanderson Farms Championship.
Kirk and List were at 14-under at the Country Club of Jackson.
Cody Gribble (67), Canada’s Graham DeLaet (68), and 2009 U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover (68) were a stroke back. Second-round leader Grayson Murray had a 72 to drop two shots behind.
Kirk, the highest-ranked player in the field at 76th, had eight birdies and a bogey.
Kirk’s first PGA Tour title came in the event in 2011, when it was known as the Viking Classic and was played at Annandale Golf Club in nearby Madison. He has won three times since, including twice in 2014, when he finished second in the FedEx Cup standings.
List, chasing his first PGA Tour victory, had seven birdies in a bogey-free round.