x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

All to play for on Sunday as Jacobson's lead down to just two shots

Swede will have a host of top players to compete with for the HSBC Champions title.

SHANGHAI // Starting the third round with the lead, Fredrik Jacobson kept his mistakes to a minimum, knocked in long birdie putts on consecutive holes and wound up with a five-under 67. It still was not enough to get away from a world-class leaderboard at the HSBC Champions.

Jacobson leads by only two shots with 18 holes to play.

"Everyone is going to be pumped up because it's a great leaderboard going into the final round," Louis Oosthuizen said. "I think everyone wants that title, so you are going to see some good golf."

It already has been a treat in many ways over three rounds at Sheshan International.

Jacobson broke the 54-hole tournament record by two shots and was at 16-under as he tries to win for the second time this year. As soft as it has been, this is no time to play conservatively. Two shots behind was Oosthuizen, a British Open champion at St Andrews, who birdied his last hole for a 68.

Joining them in the final group is Adam Scott, a former winner of The Players Championship, Tour Championship and a World Golf Championship.

Despite a growing controversy in the wake of the apparently racial slur made by his caddie, Steve Williams - directed at Tiger Woods - Scott went on a birdie-birdie-eagle finish to salvage a 69, and was only three behind.

"A 69 didn't distract me too badly in the end," Scott said.

Right behind them were the US Open champion Rory McIlroy (65) and former world No 1 Lee Westwood (67) at 12-under 204, with the former US Open champion Graeme McDowell (67) and former PGA champion Martin Kaymer (68) another shot back.

No other World Golf Championship this year has had so many big names on the leaderboard going into the last day.

The unknown in all this is Jacobson. His lone PGA Tour win came earlier this year. Kaymer knew little about that win, and not much more about the Swede, when he was asked about how Jacobson would fare on Sunday. "If I play my game, maybe I can put a little pressure on him and make it tougher for him," Kaymer said.