Hend moves into Thailand Classic lead

Hua Hin, Thailand (SportsNetwork.com) - Scott Hend made eagle on the par-5 13th on Saturday and that helped propel him into the lead after 54 holes of the inaugural Thailand Classic.

Hend fired a 6-under 66 in round three to finish at 15-under-par 201. The Australian earned his lone European Tour victory at the 2014 Hong Kong Open.

Second-round leader Miguel Angel Jimenez carded a 3-under 69 on Saturday and he dipped into a share of second place at minus-14. He was stands alongside Thongchai Jaidee, who shot 67 in round three at Black Mountain Golf Club.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat is alone in fourth place at 12-under-par 204 after a third-round 70. Richard Green (67), Alexander Noren (68), Wade Ormsby (68) and Andrew Dodt (67) share fifth place at minus-11.

Jyoti Randhawa and Javier Colomo both fired 7-under 65s to jump into a tie for ninth place at 10-under-par 206. They were joined there by Tom Lewis and Johan Carlsson, who both carded 70s on Saturday.

Hend, who was in the group ahead of Jimenez, birdied the second to move to 10- under. After four straight pars, Hend birdied the par-4 seventh for the third consecutive day and that got him within one of Jimenez.

Around the turn, Hend briefly grabbed a share of the lead with a 6-foot birdie putt at the 10th. Jaidee also birdied No. 10, while Aphibarnrat birdied the ninth to make it a 4-way tie at 12-under.

Jimenez responded with the second birdie of his round at the 10th to go one clear at minus-13.

Hend took advantage of the par-5 13th. After blasting a 400-yard drive, his second shot nearly bounced into the hole, but it rolled past the left edge and stopped four feet away.

The Australian poured in the eagle try to jump into the lead at 14-under.

"That was a nice little drive down there. I got a little skip from the rain that came through, so I guess it picked up a little speed going down the hill and just hit a nice little 5-iron in there," Hend stated.

Hend wasn't finished. He briefly pushed his advantage to three strokes as he birdied the 15th and chipped in for birdie at the 17th. However, Hend tripped to a bogey at the last to end at minus-15.

"It was a good round. I played very solid, I putted quite well. I only made one mistake today, so it was pretty good," Hend said.

Jimenez birdied the second, but followed with seven pars in a row. After his birdied the 10th, he ran off six straight pars from No. 11. He inched closer to Hend with a birdie at the 17th before closing with a par at the last.

Jaidee had a steady round as he birdied the second for the third straight round. He also birdied No. 4 from 30 feet out before closing out his opening nine with five pars.

The six-time European Tour winner birdied the 10th for a share of the lead. Jaidee later birdied the 15th and 18th to finish one behind Hend.

NOTES: This was the first time Hend had the 54-hole lead on the European Tour ... Hend, who is coming off a tie for 14th in Malaysia, has missed the cut in two of his four starts this season ... Peter Uihlein withdrew before his round due to food poisoning.