Haotong Li carded a 63 on Saturday to open up a three-shot lead over defending champion Justin Rose and Alexander Levy heading into the final round of the Turkish Airlines Open.
Starting the day three shots behind overnight leader Rose, the Chinese star signed for a bogey-free card comprised six birdies and one eagle to reach 17-under par.
Li, who edged Rory McIlroy in a Sunday showdown earlier this season to win the Dubai Desert Classic, is looking forward to another final-round challenge against one of the world’s best.
“I really want to win this week and play my best tomorrow,” said Li. “Especially at a Rolex Series event. It’s going to be an exciting day tomorrow and I’m looking forward to going against Rosey.”
Rose finished the day with a 69 which included six birdies against four bogeys, including three blemishes on the back-nine. He was 14-under par alongside the Frenchman Levy who posted a third-round 66.
One shot further back was 2016 champion Thorbjorn Olesen (68) who was solo fourth-place at 13 under, one clear of Englishmen Sam Horsfield (68) and Danny Willett (69).
2018 Turkish Airlines Open
Third Round: The Top 5
Pos-Player-To Par (Today)
1. Haotong Li -17 (-8)
2. Justin Rose -14 (-2)
2. Alex Levy -14 (-5)
4. Thorbjorn Olesen -13 (-3)
5. Danny Willett -12 (-2)
5. Sam Horsfield -12 (-3)
7. Thomas Aiken -11 (-5)
7. Tommy Fleetwood -11 (-3)
9. Tom Lewis -10 (E)
9. Lucas Bjerregaard -10 (-5)
9. Kiradech Aphibarnrat -10 (-4)
By the Numbers
Low Round: Thomas Pieters (62)
High Round: Benjamin Hebert and Ali Altunas (76)
Bogey-Free Rounds: Thomas Pieters (62), Haotong Li (63), Alex Levy (66), Andrew Johnston (66), Matthias Schwab (67), Pablo Larrazabal (68).