Saturday, May 04, 2013


TIANJIN, China, May 4 - Australian Brett Rumford scrambled to a three-under-par 69 on Saturday to take a one-shot lead into the final round of the OneAsia co-sanctioned Volvo China Open at Tianjin Binhai Lake Golf Club and the chance of winning back-to-back victories on the European Tour.
Rumford is 12 under for the 20 million yuan (U.S. $3.2 million) tournament, helped in part by Finnish playing partner Mikko Ilonen (73) blowing his share of the lead with a bogey on the last after finding water with his tee shot.
Spain's Pablo Larrazábal (69) was third, a shot further behind, while Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat (72) found his putter turned cold and was alone in fourth at nine under. 
Rumford, who ended a six-year drought on the European Tour with victory at the Ballantine's Championship in Korea last week, missed six greens during Saturday's round, but scrambled par each time.
"That was a tough day, a really tiring day, I really started to feel it on the back nine," the 43-year-old said. 
"I was fortunate enough to make some good up-and-downs today, but a lot of the areas where I was missing it were seemingly pretty easy to get up and down. I holed some good putts too, but it's just one of those things when you're mentally in it."
Rumford is seeking to become the first player to claim back-to-back titles on the European Tour since South African Branden Grace won twice at home last year. Grace, the defending champion here this week, is tied for 22nd at three under after shooting level par.
Ilonen started with a bogey that he repaired the next hole and did the same again at six and seven before parring everything until the last.
"Overall I still played pretty well, I just didn’t give myself enough birdie chances," he said, "but I hung in there nicely, and I’ve still got a good chance tomorrow." 
Ilonen hasn't won since lifting two titles in 2007 and is looking forward to continuing his duel with Rumford in the final round.
"It was a good fight out there. His short game today was incredible and his confidence is obviously very high -- especially on the greens.  I’m going to have to play very well to beat him tomorrow," he said.
France's Victor Dubuisson made the biggest charge of the day with a 66 that lifted him to a share of sixth place at seven under with first round leader Robert-Jan Derksen (73).
Teenage amateur Dou Zecheng put in another excellent performance, finishing the third round with a level par 72 to stand two under for the tournament. 
Dou, 16, made it into the tournament via regional qualifying and was the only amateur to make the cut  --  as well as the youngest in the event's 19-year history.
"I had some good iron shots and my putting was especially good today, but I still need to improve on my  distance," he said afterwards.
"It was a very enjoyable round."
On Thursday another qualifier, 12-year-old Ye Wocheng, became the youngest player ever to start a European Tour or OneAsia event -- shattering the record set by compatriot Guan Tianlang last year when he was 13.
Ye missed the cut by 14 after shooting a pair of 79s.

Par 216 (3x72) Yardage 7,667
204 Brett RUMFORD (AUS) 68-67-69.
205 Mikko ILONEN (FIN) 69-63-73.
206 Pablo LARRAZABAL (ESP) 71-66-69.
207 Kiradech APHIBARNRAT (THA) 68-67-72.
208 Joost LUITEN (NED) 73-67-68.
209 Victor DUBUISSON (FRA) 71-72-66, Robert-Jan DERKSEN (NED) 66-70-73.
210 Ricardo SANTOS (POR) 70-72-68, PARK Sang-hyun (KOR) 69-70-71.
211 Ricardo GONZALEZ (ARG) 73-71-67, Thomas BJORN (DEN) 70-73-68, Matthew BALDWIN (ENG) 70-71-70, Paul LAWRIE (SCO) 69-72-70, Steve WEBSTER (ENG) 73-67-71, Paul CASEY (ENG) 71-68-72, Lee SLATTERY (ENG) 69-68-74.
212 Felipe AGUILAR (CHI) 71-73-68, Stephen GALLACHER (SCO) 70-71-71, Damien McGRANE (IRL) 73-66-73, Richie RAMSAY (SCO) 71-68-73, Graeme STORM (ENG) 70-68-74.
213 Andreas HARTO (DEN) 72-71-70, Gregory HAVRET (FRA) 72-70-71, JB HANSEN (DEN) 73-69-71, Soren HANSEN (DEN) 72-69-72, Tommy FLEETWOOD (ENG) 71-70-72, Branden GRACE (RSA) 74-67-72, Paul WARING (ENG) 72-68-73, Aaron TOWNSEND (AUS) 69-70-74.
214 Emiliano GRILLO (ARG) 73-71-70, Alexander NOREN (SWE) 70-73-71, DOU Ze-cheng (am, CHN) 70-72-72, Andy SULLIVAN (ENG) 74-68-72, Rafael CABRERA- BELLO (ESP) 72-70-72, Jeev Milkha SINGH (IND) 72-69-73, Soren KJELDSEN (DEN) 72-68-74, Mark FOSTER (ENG) 70-69-75, Matthew GRIFFIN (AUS) 70-68-76.
215 Moritz LAMPERT (GER) 72-72-71, Gaganjeet BHULLAR (IND) 74-69-72, Peter WHITEFORD (SCO) 73-69-73, Johan EDFORS (SWE) 73-69-73, Markus BRIER (AUT) 71-71-73, AN Byeong-hun (KOR) 73-68-74, Raphael JACQUELIN (FRA) 68-72-75, LEE Hyung-joon (KOR) 70-70-75, Joel SJOHOLM (SWE) 74-65-76.
216 Magnus A CARLSSON (SWE) 71-73-72, Edoardo MOLINARI (ITA) 75-68-73, Chris LLOYD (ENG) 71-72-73, Terry PILKADARIS (AUS) 69-73-74, Kristoffer BROBERG (SWE) 74-67-75, Richard FINCH (ENG) 71-70-75, Michael HENDRY (NZL) 74-67-75.
217 Phillip PRICE (WAL) 76-68-73, Fabrizio ZANOTTI (PAR) 71-69-77.
218 Estanislao GOYA (ARG) 70-74-74, Garrett SAPP (USA) 70-74-74, Richard BLAND (ENG) 72-71-75, Eddie PEPPERELL (ENG) 75-68-75.
219 LIANG Wen-chong (CHN) 74-70-75, Niclas FASTH (SWE) 73-68-78, Nick CULLEN (AUS) 72-69-78.
220 Prom MEESAWAT (THA) 76-68-76, Andrew DODT (AUS) 72-71-77.
221 Scott JAMIESON (SCO) 73-71-77.
223 HUANG Wen-yi (CHN) 74-69-80.



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