Charl Schwartzel five shots clear after third round of Thailand Golf Championship
Last Updated: 09/12/12 6:53am
Charl Schwartzel: Remains in command at Amata Spring
Charl Schwartzel will take a five-shot lead into the final round of the Thailand Golf Championship at Amata Spring Country Club.
The tournament - the penultimate event of the 2012 Asian Tour season - has attracted several big-name overseas stars and it's Schwartzel who looks all set to claim the title after another strong front-running performance in round three.
The South African, who opened with successive seven-under 65s, wasn't quite as hot in Saturday's third round but a four-under 68 was enough to stretch his lead to five and put him in golden position to post his first win since his 2011 Masters triumph at Augusta.
Third round leaderboard
(GB & Ire unless stated)
-18 C Schwartzel (Rsa)
-13 D Chopra (Swe)
-12 T Chuayprakong (Tha)
-10 S Garcia (Spa)
-9 S Hend (Aus)
-8 M Kobayashi (Jpn)
Sweden's Daniel Chopra is Schwartzel's nearest challenger on 13-under while home hero Thitiphun Chuaypraklong, who finished off his second round early in the morning, is a further shot back following a 71.
Sergio Garcia is alone in fourth on 10-under after a birdie-birdie finish gave him a round of 68 and edged him a shot in front of Australia's Scott Hend.
Garcia's fellow Ryder Cup heroes, Lee Westwood and Nicolas Colsaerts, failed to make the big moves they were looking for in round three.
Defending champion Westwood birdied the last for a 70 while Colsaerts also fired two-under although walked off the course a frustrated figure after bogeying three of the last four holes to fall from 10-under to seven-under.
Also alongside Westwood and Colsaerts on seven-under - a huge 11 strokes back - is Masters champion Bubba Watson while it's a further shot back to another American, Hunter Mahan.