Finch shoots 66 for China Open lead

Updated: April 18, 2009, 8:03 AM ET
Associated Press

BEIJING -- Richard Finch shot a 6-under 66 on Saturday to take a one-shot lead into the final round of the Volvo China Open.

Finch birdied six holes in a row on the par-72, 7,321-yard Beijing CBD International Golf Club course for a three-round total of 208. He holds a one-shot lead over Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, who had a 68.

Fernandez-Castano, who lost in a playoff at the Estoril Open earlier this month, had an eagle on the par-5 13th.

Ashley Hall of Australia shot a 65 to play himself into contention for Sunday, two shots back of Finch. Hall was tied for third with Markus Brier of Austria, the 2007 champion, who shot a one-under 71.

Hall's 65 equaled the course record set earlier in the day by Mark Brown of New Zealand, whose 213 total puts him five shots off the pace.

Overnight leader Choi Ho-sung of South Korea stumbled with a 75, leaving him at three-under-par for the tournament and four shots off the lead.

Choi trails one shot behind England's David Dixon (67) and Simon Dyson (70), Scott Strange of Australia (69) and Thailand's Nirat Chapchai (72).

Veteran Colin Montgomerie of Scotland, Europe's 2010 Ryder Cup captain, shot a 70, leaving himself at even par for the first three rounds.

The $2.2 million China Open is jointly sanctioned by the European Tour and is the first tournament in the OneAsia series launched by the PGA of Australasia, the China Golf Association and the Korean Golf Association and PGA. OneAsia has been created as a rival to the established Asian Tour in a battle for control of professional golf on the continent.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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