Hend holds Thailand advantage

Last year???s Hong Kong Open winner struck five birdies and an eagle at Black Mountain to move one clear of overnight leader Miguel Angel Jimenez and home favourite Thongchai Jaidee.

The Australian almost snatched a stunning albatross at the par-5 13th, following up his monster drive with a strong iron shot that narrowly passed the hole.

The resulting three-foot eagle putt was converted, with his only blemish coming via a three-putt bogey at the last.

“It was a good round and puts me in a good position,” he said. “I played very solidly and putted quite well. I only made one mistake so it was pretty good.

“This is where you want to be, in the last group on a Sunday. I’ll be playing with Thongchai (Jaidee) again and Miguel (Jimenez) so it’ll be a good little test tomorrow.

“I’m very lucky and privileged to be playing golf for a living and being in contention on Sundays is what we’re all trying to do.”

Jimenez began the day one-shot clear and despite battling a cold followed it up with a steady three-under 69. The Spaniard birdied the long second and added another at the tenth, before narrowly missing out on an eagle at the par-four 17th when his second shot bounced off the base of the flag.??

The 51-year-old completed his third birdie putt of the day, to keep up his hopes of breaking his own record as the European Tour’s oldest winner.??

“I’m playing well and hitting it well,” the veteran said. “I missed a few putts but I’m??creating lots of chances.”

Jaidee also had a bogey-free round as five birdies, including a 30-foot putt at the fourth, saw him sign for a 67, while??countryman Kiradech Aphibarnrat was a further shot back.

Three Australians were then sat on 11-under as Andrew Dodt, Richard Green and??Wade Ormsby shared tied-fifth with Sweden’s Alex Noren.

Spain’s Javier Colomo and India’s Jyoti Randhawa produced the joint-lowest scores of the round, both posting bogey-free seven-under 65’s to join Johan Carlsson and Tom Lewis five shots adrift of the leaders.??

Back-to-back birdies to finish from David Lipsky saw the American join Thomas Bjorn in a group of seven players a further stroke back on nine-under.

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