Longkou City, China – Korea's Lee Chang-woo
is a step closer to realizing his dream of
playing in the Masters
Tournament after establishing a slender one-
shot lead after the third round of the Asia-
Championship (AAC). But with a tightly
bunched leader board – the top 10 players,
representing six different
nations, are separated by only seven shots –
the stage is set for a thrilling final-round
Lee, 19, who shared the overnight lead with
Japan’s Shohei Hasegawa, compiled a solid 2-
under 69 in today's
more benign conditions at Nanshan
International Golf Club in China's northerly
Shandong province. He now
leads on his own with a three-day total of 211.
On Lee's heels is China's Dou Zecheng, who
fired his own 69 to lie in second place, and
recovered from a disappointing start, to end
the day a further stroke back in third.
Organized by the Asia Pacific Golf
Confederation, Masters Tournament and The
R&A, the AAC awards the
winner an invitation to the Masters
Tournament and, along with the runner(s)-up,
automatic entry into
International Final Qualifying for The Open
"This is my third time playing at this
tournament, but it feels a lot different this
time [to be in contention],"
said Lee, who continues his strong play after
finishing in a tie for second place alongside
Rory McIlroy at last
week's Korea Open. "I played okay today –
my driver was a bit shaky, but my approach
shots and putting
were good. I'm going to try and do my best
Lee opened up with a birdie at the par-5 first
but gave it back just two holes later after a
bogey at the par-3
third. The mistake seemed to settle the Seoul
native and he rebounded by playing the more
difficult back nine
in just 33 shots.
"I was a bit nervous after making the birdie at
the first, but after that it went well," said Lee.
"I'm trying not
to feel too much pressure because all my
shots are going pretty well at the moment.
Tomorrow I'm just going to try and repeat my
performance over the first three rounds."
Lee's closest challenger, Dou, also took
advantage of the day's favorable scoring
conditions. With the sun
shining and the gusty winds of the opening
rounds reduced to a consistent breeze, the 16-
bogeys at Nos. 11 and 12 with four birdies –
including two in the last four holes – to
position himself nicely for
the final round.
"My irons were back in shape again and I hit
some really good shots," said Dou, who shot
earlier this year after making the cut at the
China Open. "I think I'm in pretty good form
right now. I just need
to pay more attention to my short game,
especially my putts."
Wearing his trademark bucket hat and
sunglasses, Dou cut a relaxed, almost
carefree figure on the course.
But as he readily admitted, even he is not
entirely immune to the pressure that comes
with being in
contention at one of the world's most
prestigious amateur tournaments.
"After I made the two birdies [at the eighth
and ninth holes] there were a few nerves,"
Dou, who spends his summers working on his
game in the United States. "I was thinking
about tomorrow and
[the chance of] going to Augusta. I'll try and
not do that in the final round."
When asked about his unusual choice of
headwear, Dou laughed: “My hat brings me
good luck," he said.
The most notable climb up the leader board on
moving day was made by Dou's compatriot,
champion Guan Tianlang, who produced the
kind of form that earned him the title in such
fine fashion 12
Guan, who turned 15 on Friday, carded a fine
68 – a round that included five birdies on the
front nine – to
vault into contention at three-over, five shots
off the pace in fifth place alongside U.S.
finalist Oliver Goss of Australia.
"I think I had a great round today. I gave
myself a lot of opportunities and made a lot of
birdies on the front
[nine]," said Guan, who received worldwide
acclaim after making the cut at the Masters
Tournament in April.
"I'm feeling really good. My driving and my
irons were good and my putting came back
today. I really think
my feel is coming back and I will try and get
some more birdies tomorrow."
Guan's round was bettered only by Kim Tae-
woo, who produced five birdies during his 67
for the low round of
this year's championship so far.
Earlier in the day, New Zealand's Sam An
made the tournament's first hole-in-one in
four years after holing
out at the 174-yard, par 3 17th.
"The wind was in to and from the left so I hit
a little punch draw with a six-iron," said An,
who is tied for
22nd. "I had a go, it bounced once, hit the pin
and went straight in ... I'm pretty happy."
ABOUT THE Asia-Pacific Amateur
The Asian-Pacific Amateur (formerly known as the
Asian Amateur) is the first of a series of worldwide
championships put together by a between the Asia
Pacific Golf Confederation (APGC), the Masters
Tournament and The R&A. The event offers the
winner an invitation to the Masters Tournament at
Augusta National Golf Club. The champion and
runner(s)-up earn spots in The Open Qualifying
Series for The Open.
The event has historically moved throughout the
region and has now been held in China (2009, 2013),
Japan (2010), Singapore (2011), Thailand (2012),
Australia (2014) and Hong Kong (2015).
A field, topping out at 120 players, is selected by the
The top two ranked amateur players from
of the APGC member countries plus the four
top ranked players from the host country. If
there is not a sufficient number of players
ranked from that member country, the
country may nominate a player(s) from
country, to be approved by the APGC, to
the two positions eligible from that country.
The remainder of the field will be filled
the next highest ranked players of APGC
member countries, not otherwise qualified.
maximum number of eligible players from
APGC member country (with the exception
the host country) is six. Additional players may
be offered at the event's discretion.
The ninth edition of the event will be held in
New Zealand where it will be staged by Royal
Wellington Golf Club from 26 – 29 October, 2017. It
will be the first time the championship is held in New
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