Bjerregaard and Aguilar lead China Open


Lucas Bjerregaard joined Felipe Aguilar at the top of the leaderboard with a magnificent seven-under third round of 65 at the China Open on Saturday.

The 24-year-old Dane has rediscovered the sort of form he demonstrated at the end of last season at Topwin Golf and Country Club this week to put himself in contention to win a first European Tour title.

Bjerregaard, who finished in the top three in three of his last nine tournaments last year, holed his approach shot at the par-four third hole for an eagle two and made another birdie at the eighth before coming up with another four gains on the back nine to move him to 16 under.

Chilean Aguilar held a one-shot lead after the second round and remains firmly in the hunt for a third European Tour victory with a five-under 67 in Beijing.

The 41-year-old birdied five of the first 11 holes, but bogeyed the 13th and needed a sixth gain at the last to take a share of the lead with Bjerregaard, who has gone 41 holes without dropping a shot.

Alex Noren, Tyrrell Hatton, Li Haotong and Nicolas Colsaerts are well poised just two shots off the leading duo heading into the final round.

It was a mixed third round of 68 for Noren, who double-bogeyed the par-four fifth but eagled the eighth and then immediately dropped a shot, as well as coming up with five birdies.

Home favourite Li was far more consistent, carding a six-under 66 which included just the one bogey at the 12th.

Englishman Hatton made it back-to-back 67s to stay in the hunt, while big-hitting Belgian Colsaerts surged into contention with an impressive blemish-free 65.