Hong Kong: Alvaro Quiros of Spain shot a 3-under 67 Saturday to hold a one-shot lead after the third round of the Hong Kong Open, while joint overnight leader Rory McIlroy fell three strokes behind.
Quiros had three birdies in a flawless round for a 10-under total of 200, one shot ahead of Sweden`s Peter Hanson, who recovered from an early bogey to shoot 65.
McIlroy shared the lead with the 28-year-old Quiros after both of the first two rounds, but the U.S. Open champion needed two late birdies to scramble for a 70.
"I have held the lead going into the last round three times in my career and won twice, so the statistics are in my favor," Quiros said. "But this golf course is different, it is tight and anything can happen."
McIlroy had a bad start with bogeys on the fourth and fifth holes, but made up for it with birdies on No. 13 and 17.
"I didn`t have anything out there. Mentally I`m not up to it and little things were starting to agitate me," McIlroy said. "But I`m not out of it, still just three shots behind. If I can get off to a decent start, I will be able to put some pressure on the leaders."
Hanson put himself in contention with the help of some good putting, while South Korean Y.E. Yang also shot a 65 to put himself another stroke back in a tie for third with Pariya Junhasavasdikul of Thailand, who carded 67.
"I`m in a good position, better than being ahead in the first or second round," said Yang, who became the first Asian to win a major at the 2009 PGA Championship.
John Daly, playing in his first tournament since walking off the course at the Australian Open two weeks ago, shot a 67 to move to 1 under for the tournament. Daly began with a 74 in the first round, but recovered with a 68 on Friday.
"The first day was just about survival with the strong winds, but the last two days could have been better or it could have been worse. I`m just hanging in there," Daly said. "Making the cut here has showed a lot about myself."
First Published: Saturday, December 03, 2011, 18:40