KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Englishman Danny Willett moved into position to claim a first title since his dramatic U.S. Masters win last April after the Briton forged a three-stroke lead going into Sunday’s final round at the Maybank Championship in Kuala Lumpur.
The 29-year-old has struggled to replicate the play that led him to a first major triumph at Augusta National but Willett has shone this week at the Saujana Golf and Country Club and a five-under-par third round 67 took him to 16-under on Saturday.
After offsetting a single bogey with six birdies, Willett sits three clear of American David Lipsky and four ahead of Frenchman Alexander Levy in the co-sanctioned European and Asian Tour event.
“It was up and down, I’d have taken a 67 at the start of the day, it spreads the top five and top six guys out a bit more and further away,” Willett told reporters.
“I’m probably going to go hit a few (on the practice range) and make a few little minor tweaks here and there, and try to get the driver to where it’s been most of the week.
“I’m not sure what will win it to be honest, depends on if we pitch up and it’s flat calm. I think there’s a few guys that can go low if it’s windy like this.
“One or two under par is a good knock out there so I think it all depends on the weather tomorrow.”
Willett’s round had a lone blemish on the par-three fifth and he finished strongly with back-to-back birdies on the last two holes.
Lipsky recorded five birdies against one bogey for a 68 to stay ahead of Levy, who hit a blemish-free 67.
Overnight leader Bernd Wiesberger slipped down to a five-way share of fourth place following a one-over-par 73.
(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; Editing by John O’Brien)