Irish off their greens as Wiesberger hits career best
 Bernd Wiesberger hit all 18 greens and had just 27 putts in his 63. Picture © Getty Images

Bernd Wiesberger hit all 18 greens and had just 27 putts in his 63. Picture © Getty Images

Three of Ireland's four strong challenge went completely off their greens in the third round of the Maybank Malaysian Open in Kaula Lumpur.

Only Michel Hoey broke 30 putts with Graeme McDowell using the blade 34 times, Peter Lawrie 33 and Paul McGinley 32 at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club.

As a result, Hoey was the only one of the four to break par, firing five birdies in a 68 to move up 25 spots to tied 28th on three under par.

That's still 14 shots adrift of the impressive Bernd Wiesberger, who carded the lowest score of his European Tour career — a stunning nine under par 63 — to move two shots clear at the top of the leaderboard.

The Austrian has been in brilliant form this year, recording three consecutive top six finishes before this event, and he came flying out of the blocks by birdieing the first five holes before finishing with three straight birdies to lead on 17 under from Spaniard Alejandro Cañizares (68).

“I caught up with the leaders early which was good and finished off well," Wiesberger said. "I felt very comfortable out there and I didn’t even let the bogey bother me.

"It was really nice out there with less wind today. Everyone was making birdies early on and it was nice to be amongst that. I’ve shot 64 a few times on Tour but this is the lowest. 

"I won’t be fooled by this position tomorrow. There are a lot of good scores out there, as we saw today, so I’ll be trying to make some birdies again and play as well as I did today.”

England’s Paul Waring had two eagles in his round of 65 to lie third, alongside compatriot Lee Westwood, who birdied the last two holes for a 69, while India’s Anirban Lahiri posted the round of the week, a ten under par 62, to jump up to fifth place.

McDowell was tied for eighth overnight after taking 33 putts in a second round 73. But he fell further off the pace in round three, mixing two birdies with two bogeys in a quiet putting round as he slipped to tied 18th, nine shots off the pace.

Dubliner Lawrie, 40, is fighting for the big finish that would win back his European Tour card but while he made three birdies, he also racked up four bogeys and then double bogeyed the 17th.

A 75 left Lawrie tied for 24th on four under and one shot better than Hoey, who is tied 28th on three under.

McGinley bogeyed three of his last four holes for a 77 that left him proppoing up the ield on six over in his first start since he underwent routine knee surgery last November.

Wiesberger faces plenty of competition on a final day that should see Westwood become the biggest money winner in the history of the European Tour.

He needs just €47,136 to overtake Ernie Els, who leads the Career Money List with €30,525,805 to Westwood's €30,478,669.


“I didn’t play particularly well today, so I was pleased to shoot 69, which keeps me in the hunt," Westwood said.

"I couldn’t feel my hip action today, especially early on. But I only made one bogey, and I made some crucial birdies on 17 and 18.

"If I didn’t make them I’m looking at probably being five shots back, so it was nice to finish with a bit of momentum.

“You can get into a false mind-set, where you convince yourself that you’re not playing very well, when it’s just that someone else has had a great start and is hitting it close.

"Both of them birdied the first two holes, so two pars felt like it was a bit slow. You’ve just got to be patient. I’ve been in this position often enough so it’s the old adage of playing your own game and taking it one shot at a time.”

Maybank Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club (Par 72)

Third Round Scores

199 B Wiesberger (Aut) 70 66 63, 

201 A Cañizares (Esp) 68 65 68,

202 L Westwood (Eng) 66 67 69, P Waring (Eng) 69 68 65,

204 A Lahiri (Ind) 70 72 62,

205 P Peterson (USA) 72 69 64,

206 R Lee (Can) 69 69 68,

207 J Higginbottom (Aus) 69 71 67, A Quiros (Esp) 70 70 67,

208 G Bourdy (Fra) 70 70 68,

209 P Uihlein (USA) 72 72 65, P Larrazábal (Esp) 73 69 67,

210 D Chia (Mas) 67 74 69, M Warren (Sco) 70 71 69, P Meesawat (Tha) 68 72 70, J Wang (Kor) 77 66 67, S Kang (Kor) 67 74 69,

211 Graeme McDowell (Nir) 66 73 72, S Hend (Aus) 73 72 66, R Bland (Eng) 68 70 73, S Chawrasia (Ind) 76 67 68, J Carlsson (Swe) 74 69 68, N Colsaerts (Bel) 70 74 67,

212 T Jaidee (Tha) 72 73 67, A Sullivan (Eng) 70 70 72, Peter Lawrie (Irl) 71 66 75, M Madsen (Den) 72 70 70,

213 A Hansen (Den) 68 76 69, W Ormsby (Aus) 73 69 71, R Jacquelin (Fra) 71 72 70, T Khrongpha (Tha) 74 69 70, L Wen-Chong (Chn) 74 72 67, C Pigem (Esp) 73 71 69, M Fraser (Aus) 72 69 72, G Havret (Fra) 72 72 69, T Pilkadaris (Aus) 71 72 70, Michael Hoey (Nir) 75 70 68,

214 R Rock (Eng) 70 70 74, E Grillo (Arg) 70 73 71, M Jiménez (Esp) 72 71 71, J Pagunsan (Phi) 71 69 74, N Holman (Aus) 72 71 71, J Quesne (Fra) 71 72 71, R Wattel (Fra) 70 73 71, F Aguilar (Chi) 70 74 70, S Othman (Mas) 73 71 70,

215 J Janewattananond (Tha) 77 69 69, D Lipsky (USA) 72 73 70, A Dodt (Aus) 69 73 73, G Green (am) (Mas) 74 68 73,

216 C Plaphol (Tha) 76 68 72, T Pieters (Bel) 73 73 70,

217 S Kapur (Ind) 72 71 74, S Gallacher (Sco) 69 77 71, M Lundberg (Swe) 71 74 72, S Jamieson (Sco) 73 72 72, S Dyson (Eng) 72 73 72,

218 E Molinari (Ita) 72 73 73, H Otto (RSA) 73 69 76, L Wei-Chih (Tpe) 77 67 74, A Que (Phi) 72 72 74, M Foster (Eng) 71 73 74, R Karlsson (Swe) 70 76 72, H Chien-Yao (Tpe) 75 70 73, N Fung (Mas) 71 71 76,

219 T Fleetwood (Eng) 67 79 73, R Khan (Ind) 73 73 73, A Lascuna (Phi) 74 72 73, O Fisher (Eng) 73 73 73, 

220 R Nachimuthu (Mas) 73 72 75, 

221 R Finch (Eng) 73 73 75, 

222 Paul McGinley (Irl) 69 76 77, M Tabuena (Phi) 74 72 76, S Brazel (Aus) 73 71 78.