Brett Rumford is one round away from becoming only the third Australian to win back-to-back tournaments in the 41-year history of the European Tour.
Rumford shot a 3-under 69 in windy conditions Saturday during the third round of the China Open on the Binhai Lake Golf Club course to move to 12 under, one stroke clear of Mikko Ilonen (73). The Finn led by three shots at the halfway mark.
The Australian ended a six-year drought by capturing the Ballantine's Championship in South Korea last week.
''It was a really tough day and a very tiring day, and I really started to feel it on the back nine,'' Rumford said. ''Things were starting to catch-up and I would have come across looking perhaps like a wet fish as I was just not in the mood to be playing golf. But I hung in really, really nicely as there was some really tired golf swings out there today, and I could feel the lethargy in my body.
''So tonight I will be doing my best to recover for tomorrow. But I did well to hang in there...