BANGKOK (Reuters) - Australia’s Marcus Fraser will take a one-shot lead into the final round of the Thailand Golf Championship despite making a bogey on his final hole on Saturday.
Fraser dropped a shot on the par-four 18th after missing the fairway with his drive but still signed for a two-under-par 70.
That took him to five under, one shot clear of India’s Anirban Lahiri (68) and two ahead of Germany’s twice major winner Martin Kaymer (70), England’s Lee Westwood (72) and surprise halfway leader Tommy Fleetwood (73).
Fraser, who has won five tournaments as a professional, was taking nothing for granted after only recently returning to the game following an eight-month layoff caused by a wrist injury.
“It’s only a one-shot lead at the moment, which is almost irrelevant with the caliber of players that are on the leader board,” he said.
“I’m excited to be in this position. Feel like I’ve played really well for three days so hopefully I can go out and do the same tomorrow and give myself plenty of chances.”
Kaymer said he needed a good start to his final round to have a real chance of winning the $1 million event at the Amata Spring Country Club, on the outskirts of Bangkok.
“It’s very important to take care of the first six and seven holes because you can score there,” he said.
“You need to take advantage of the par fives and that’s very important. If the putter is warm enough then I might have a chance.”
Westwood, who won the tournament in 2011, was well placed for another run at the title after a solid round.
“You need a lot of patience on this golf course. I don’t think anyone will be running away with the title,” He said.
”If I played the way I played and maximize my opportunities then I think I can do well. I just need to fine tune my score.”
U.S. Masters champion Bubba Watson dropped back down the field after a 77 that included two double-bogeys while Spaniard Sergio Garcia, last year’s champion, shot a 71 to move into the top 10, six strokes behind Fraser.
Writing by Julian Linden in Singapore; editing by Ed Osmond