DOHA, Qatar – Jeunghun Wang broke through a crowded leaderboard with a 7-under 65 in Saturday’s third round to open a three-shot lead at the Qatar Masters.
The 21-year-old South Korean, who is 15-under 201 overall, made three birdies around the turn to grab the lead, and never relinquished it with two birdies in his last three holes.
It was the best round on another windy day in Doha.
Spain’s Nacho Elvira and South African Jaco van Zyl both shot 4-under 68s to tie for second place at 12 under.
Another South African, Thomas Aiken (69), was a shot further behind in fourth.
Wang, a back-to-back winner on the European Tour last year in May at the Trophee Hassan II and AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open, put up an exhibition of shot-making, hitting 16 out of 18 greens in regulation and also completing his round in just 27 putts. He went out in 33, and came back in 32.
“My iron play was really good today and my putting was really good,” said Wang, now ranked 60th in the world.
Elvira could have finished much closer to Wang, but a poor tee shot cost him a double bogey on the par-4 15th.
“I think it’s a great round today with these wind conditions,” said the 29-year-old Elvira, who is yet to win on the European Tour.
Van Zyl was left slightly disappointed despite a bogey-free round of 68. He made only one birdie on the four par-5s, and also missed a couple of short birdie chances.
“I have been hitting it nicely, so yeah, obviously it’s a good score. But really felt like I left quite a lot out there,” he said.
Ernie Els (71) was tied 18th at 7 under, while Martin Kaymer improved to tied 23rd with a 4-under 68.
There was a nine-way tie for the lead ahead of the third round, a European Tour record.
The last time nine players were tied on top was after the first round of the 1997 Wales Open, but this was the first time in Tour history so many had led after 36 holes. (This story has been corrected to show that Ernie Els is 7 under, not 5 under, after the end of the third round.)
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