Shane Lowry continued his upward trend in the Land of the Rising Sun by moving to tied 12th entering the final round of the Dunlop Phoenix Tournament.

The Irish Open champion, 22, had five birdies and three bogeys in a 69 to get to three under par in Japan.

He trails Italy's Edoardo Molinari by five shots after the Italian winner of this year’s Challenge Tour rankings also shot a two-under 69 to take a one-stroke lead in the €1.5m Japan Golf Tour event.

Molinari had four birdies and two bogeys to finish  on eight-under 205 for a one-stroke lead over Sweden's Robert Karlsson (68) and overnight co-leader Kenichi Kuboya (71).

Japanese teenager Ryo Ishikawa carded a 71 and is tied for 20th place with nine others, including Fiji's Vijay Singh and New Zealand's David Smail, who both shot 70.