Ballantine's Championship: Alex Noren edges ahead at Blackstone Golf Club
Last Updated: 27/04/13 11:41pm
Alex Noren: Leads by a shot with 18 holes to play
Sweden's Alex Noren birdied the final hole to take a one-shot lead after round three of the Ballantine's Championship.
A two-putt birdie from just off the 18th green saw the Swede post a three-under 69 for a 54-hole total of nine-under. And that nudged him a shot in front of Spain's Pablo Larrazabal and Scotland's Peter Whiteford.
Weather delays on the opening two days at Blackstone Golf Club in South Korea meant the second round was only completed on Saturday morning, with Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat completing a superb 66 to join compatriot Arnond Vongvanij and Australian Wade Ormsby in the lead.
Third round leaderboard
(GB & Ire unless stated)
-9 A Noren (Swe)
-8 P Larrazabal (Spa)
-8 P Whiteford
-7 B Rumford (Aus)
-7 M Fraser (Aus)
Click here for collated scores
But in difficult conditions, that trio struggled in the third round and others came past them as they all shot over par.
At one stage there was an amazing 10-way tie for the lead but with the wind and cool conditions blowing many off course, there was finally separation at the top of the leaderboard, culminating in Noren breaking out of a three-way tie at the top with his closing birdie.
Larrazabal, whose four-under 68 was the best score in round three, had earlier posted the clubhouse lead of eight-under and that was later matched by Whiteford, who also managed a four at the last despite it being the 28th hole of a long day for the Scot.
Pre-tournament favourite Louis Oosthuizen was briefly one of the joint leaders but slipped into the pack with a triple bogey at the par three 13th after finding water.
But the South African responded with birdies at 14 and 18 and will start the final day just three shots back and still in with a good chance of taking the title.
Brett Rumford produced an incredible finish, with five straight birdies lifting him from two-under to seven-under.
Fellow Aussie Marcus Fraser is also on that number, just one back, although he finished with a bogey six.