YE Yang leads the third round of Volvo China Open.(2010-04-17)

2009 USPGA Championship winner YE Yang sits proudly on top of the Volvo China Open leaderboard going into the final round with a one-shot lead over Finland’s Mikko Ilonen and Jamie Donaldson of Wales, with a chasing pack of 13 others still in contention for the right to be crowned the open golf champion of China on Sunday afternoon.

In bright sunshine but with a tricky wind blowing over the Suzhou Jinji Lake International Golf Club, Yang added a four-under-par 68 to his halfway aggregate of 134 to sit on 14-under-par with a round to go.

Yang’s consistency is all the more remarkable given that he was in the air for 24 hours in between his excellent top 10 finish at the US Masters and arriving in China; with only the Pro-am for practice, the 38-year-old shot opening rounds of 68 and 66 and now has a slender one-shot lead.

“I had been preparing for the Volvo China Open whilst I was at Augusta,” said the Korean, adding, “The journey over here was long but I felt good as soon as I stepped onto the Jinji Lake golf course and I am playing very solidly.”

Tied in second place just a shot back from Yang is Mikko Ilonen from Finland and Welshman Jamie Donaldson, both on 13-under-par with Spanish ace Pablo Larrazábal a shot further back in fourth.

Asked if he and his pro-am partner, F1 driver Heikki Kovalainen, might make it a cause for double celebration, Ilonen said, “I will be doing my very best to fulfil my side of the bargain, but realistically, whilst it would be fantastic if Heikke could win for Lotus, it might be too soon for him and the team.”

Said Donaldson, who is looking for his maiden European Tour victory, “I’m playing well and need to keep focused, play my own game and I’m confident in my game.”

The rounds of the day both went to two other Welsh players, 2004 Volvo China Open champion Stephen Dodd who carded a six-under-par 66 and youngster Rhys Davies, who went one better, a single shot off the course record.
One of the most attractive pairings of the fourth and final round is that of Scotsman Marc Warren and Colin Montgomerie, recreating the partnership which won the 2007 World Cup of Golf at Mission Hills, the pair teeing-off at 10.15hrs,Beijing time.

Meanwhile, back at the business end of the 16th Volvo China Open, the final two pairings tee-off early afternoon, Spaniard Pablo Larrazábal with Jamie Donaldson at 12.40, Beijing time, with the final pairing of Mikko Ilonen and leader YE Yang goes out at 12.49.

The identity of the 2010 Volvo China Open Championship winner will be unveiled around 17.00hrs, Beijing time when he will be presented with the brand new Kosta Boda trophy, the winner’s golf jacket and a cheque for US$416,660. (2010-04-17)



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