An incredible eagle from Li Haotong put a dent in Justin Rose’s hopes of returning to world number one at the Turkish Airlines Open.
Rose had led by two strokes after 36 holes in Antalya, but Li surged into a three-shot advantage on Saturday, an unlikely eagle at the 10th helping him post an eight-under 63 and move to 17 under after 54.
The Chinese made the turn in 29 as he birdied five of the front nine holes, but the highlight came as he began the back nine, his approach appearing to settle in the thicker grass at the back of the green only to incredibly roll back into the cup.
Li lifted his arms in a mixture of joy and disbelief at the shot that gave him a two-shot lead, which he was able to extend with the final gain of a blemish-free performance at the 12th.
— Haotong Li (@haotong_li) November 3, 2018
Rose now finds himself tied-second with Alexander Levy after an uneven display.
The Englishman had only dropped one shot through the opening two days but bogeyed four times as he carded a two-under 69.
Levy’s second successive 66 lifted him level with Rose at 14 under, with Thorbjorn Olesen on their tails as he goes into the final round a shot adrift.
“It’s going to be an exciting day tomorrow and I’m looking forward to going against Rosey,” Li, winner of the Dubai Desert Classic in January, said.
“I definitely got a lot of confidence from Dubai and since then I’ve been playing a lot of big events which has built my confidence, also.”
Sam Horsfield and Danny Willett are a shot further back at 12 under, with Thomas Aiken and Tommy Fleetwood six off the pace as the latter pursues Francesco Molinari in the Race to Dubai.