Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (SportsNetwork.com) - Bernd Wiesberger just missed out on tying the course record by one shot with a third-round, 9-under 63 Saturday and he opened up a 2-shot lead heading into the final day of the Maybank Malaysian Open.
Wiesberger, a two-time winner on the European Tour, finished 54 holes at 17- under-par 199. The Austrian, who has finished inside the top 10 in each of his three starts this season, saw both of his victories come in 2012 at the Ballantine's Championship and the Lyoness Open.
"I caught up to the leaders early, which was good, and finish off well," said Wiesberger. "It was a great day for me. This is my European Tour record. I've never shot a 63."
Alejandro Canizares, who shared the second-round lead with defending champion Lee Westwood, carded a 4-under 68 and he is alone in second place at 15-under 201.
After also sharing the first-round lead with Graeme McDowell, Westwood shot a 3-under 69 at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club in round three. He is tied for third at 14-under 202 with Paul Waring, who shot a 7-under 65.
While Wiesberger came up a bit short of the course record, Anirban Lahiri fired a 10-under 62 Saturday, which ties the record set by Raphael Jacquelin back in 2006. The big day helped Lahiri vault into fifth at 12-under 204.
Wiesberger began the day three shots back of the leaders Canizares and Westwood, but he quickly eliminated that deficit as the 29-year-old came out on fire.
It was about as good of a start as he could have asked for as Wiesberger made birdie on six of his first seven holes, including five straight from No. 1 to start the day. Wiesberger gave one of those shots back with his lone bogey on the par-3 eighth and he made the turn with a par at No. 9.
Wiesberger started the back nine well with his seventh birdie on the par-5 10th, putting him at 6-under for the day. He then ripped off five straight pars from No. 11.
A trio of birdies from No. 16 ended Wiesberger's round in style. Wiesberger's birdie at the last broke a tie with Canizares, who bogeyed No. 18 to fall two shots back and into sole possession of second place.
"I've been working on the right things which are important for my game," Wiesberger stated. "I've improved on my putting a lot. I have changed to a different model and it has been working for me. I also have the belief that I can play good golf now."
Canizares continued his exceptional play this week as he started off with a pair of birdies on one and two. After a trio of pars from three, Canizares traded a bogey on six for a birdie on seven. The Spaniard closed out his front nine two holes later with a gain on No. 9.
Making the turn at minus-3 for the day, Canizares hit a bit of a bump with two straight bogeys from No. 11, dropping him to minus-1 on his round. Still, a birdie on 14 left Canizares just on shot back heading to the 16th.
Canizares holed out from the fairway for eagle with his second shot on the par-4 16th, while Wiesberger made birdie and the duo was tied for the lead. They both remained deadlocked by each making a birdie on 17, but Canizares tripped to another bogey at the last to fall two back after the Wiesberger gain.
Lahiri was on from the start en route to his record-tying performance. Lahiri began with five birdies over his first six holes and later added another gain on the par-4 ninth. He made the turn at 6-under.
Lahiri made it two straight birdies with a gain on No. 10 and he did not slow down from there. Three holes later, Lahiri made another pair of birdies on 13 and 14. A gain on 16 was Lahiri's last of the day as he finished up with two pars on 17 and 18.
NOTES: Westwood, who went wire-to-wire to win by seven last year, had either held the outright lead or a share of the lead at the end of his last six rounds at this event prior to Saturday ... Jacquelin finished in third place at this event in 2006, when he set the course record ... Wiesberger played in the final group at last year's PGA Championship. He ended up finishing tied for 15th.