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Yang finds fairways and takes lead at China Open

David W Ferguson

SUZHOU, China (Reuters) - Asia's first major winner Yang Yong-eun put his trust in his driver and cut through gusting winds at the China Open on Saturday to move to the top of the third round leaderboard with a bogey-free 68.

The South Korean, one of only three players not to card a bogey in difficult conditions, holds a one-shot lead over Jamie Donaldson of Wales and Finn Mikko Ilonen going into the final round.

Blustery breezes made the links-style holes particularly difficult for the players. Toughest of all was the 492-yard par-4 18th, playing straight into the wind.

Several players strayed into fairway bunkers, while US Ryder captain Corey Pavin took his driver off the fairway but still pulled up short.

"It's a very tough hole," said Yang. "I was in the sand on day one but I saved my par. My strategy is to aim left and come in over the left-hand greenside bunker.

"Luckily my driver is working well and I've been able to find the exact spot I'm looking for on the fairway."

Yang seemed untroubled by forecasts of bad weather on Sunday.

"If it rains or is windy you need extra attention and focus," he said. "My approach will be just to concentrate on each shot I make."

The lead changed hands throughout the day, with Yang, Donaldson, Ilonen and overnight leader Kim Do-hoon of South Korea all finding themselves on top.

The low round of the day came from Welshman Rhys Davies, whose bogey-free 65 included eagles on both the par-5s on the back nine and lifted him 53 places up the leaderboard. At eight-under-par he is six shots off the lead.

Countryman Stephen Dodd, who was playing alongside European Ryder captain Colin Montgomerie, was the day's other player to avoid a bogey and climbed the leaderboard with a 66 that left him tied for fifth with Kim on 10-under.

(Editing Peter Rutherford)