Magical Matsuyama on the verge of making history

Hideki Matsuyama will take a three stroke lead going into the final round of the WGC-HSBC Champions on Sunday. 

The Japanese star carded a four under 68 around Sheshan International to move to 17 under for the tournament, three shots ahead of defending champion Russell Knox who is alone in second.

Matsuyama is bidding to become the first Asian player to win a World Golf Championship event and is now just 18 holes away from doing so. 

The 27-year-old had a subdued round by his standards, but will be happy to have kept his card bogey-free and the challengers at arms length.

Matsuyama was brave on the final hole, taking a 3 wood into the semi-island green 225 yards away. It paid off, as his cut shot landed softly on the green to leave himself a 28 foot putt for eagle.

While he would miss the chance, Matsuyama tapped in for his fourth birdie of the day and a flawless round.

“The first two days, making lots of birdies, it’s a lot of fun,” said Matsuyama.

“But today, when you’re in a position to win, playing smart and making no bogeys was very satisfying to me today.

“Everyone is so good. I know I’m going to have to make some birdies. But I think the key for tomorrow’s round will be not making any bogeys.”

Knox continued his strong bid of a title defence with a second consecutive 68, while Daniel Berger moved into third on 13 under. Further down the leaderboard, Francesco Molinari and BIll Hass are in T4 on 12 under.

The round of the day belonged to Shane Lowry, with his seven under 65 that took him to nine under in T8 along with Henrik Stenson and Thomas Pieters. 

Saturday also saw the tournaments six hole-in-one since it's inception, with American veteran Matt Kuchar holing out on the par three 17th. 

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