Michael Hoey makes up ground on leaders in China

Michael Hoey
Michael Hoey

Michael Hoey carded a third round 68 to make a significant move up the leaderboard at the Shenzhen International in China.

His four-under-par round moved him up to three under and into a share of 28th, nine shots behind leader Kiradech Aphibarnrat.

Despite an uncharacteristic late wobble, Aphibarnrat will take a two shot lead into the final round, where the Thai is bidding to claim his second European Tour title.

For much of the day, Kiradech had looked impregnable and on course to follow up his triumph at the 2013 Maybank Malaysian Open. But he double-bogeyed the par five 17th hole, and dropped another shot at the last to fall back to 12 under par.

His nearest challenger on ten under is halfway leader Peter Uihlein, who heads a threatening chasing pack and whose up and down round of one under par suddenly grew in value as his playing partner faltered.

Aphibarnrat’s round of four under par was still impressive, featuring nine birdies which all came in the first 13 holes.

The 25 year old started the day on eight under par, one stroke behind Uihlein, but burst out of the blocks with three straight birdies to overhaul the American. Either side of two bogey fives, an excellent approach to the sixth hole led to another gain before he made four consecutive birdies around the turn.

But having carded three straight pars to stay on course to equal the tournament’s lowest round of seven under par, set earlier in the day by China’s Li Hao-tong and then matched by Spaniard Pablo Larrazábal, Aphibarnrat’s putting let him down on the last two holes.

Larrazábal occupies third place on nine under par after notching eight birdies at Genzon Golf Club, on the outskirts of Shenzhen.