Paul Dunne was counting the cost of a bad Sunday as he slipped 16 places to tied 25th in the weather-delayed Shenzhen International.
The $2.8 million event will be settled in a Monday finish at Genzon Golf Club but while Dunne is one of 21 players remaining on, his title chances have gone after he made three bogeys and 13 pars in 16 holes.
Dunne was tied for ninth, albeit seven shots behind leader Soomin Lee, entering Sunday’s final round.
But he couldn’t buy a birdie in the 16 holes he played before play was suspended, dropping shots at the eighth, ninth and 12th to share 25th on five under par.
Another lengthy weather delay meant the tournament could not be completed with Soomin Lee, Alexander Levy and Lee Slattery tied at the top on 14 under heading down the stretch.
The final group, which produced an exciting battle between playing partners Slattery and Lee, has just five holes left to play with the young Korean having relinquished his two shot overnight lead courtesy of a three over par front nine, before pegging back a shot each at the tenth and 13th holes.
Englishman Slattery, meanwhile, was keeping a cool head despite a play suspension of just under three hours due to a lightning threat midway through the afternoon, birdieing the sixth and the ninth to reach the 14th tee on two under for the day.
Play was suspended overnight due to darkness with Frenchman Levy, a winner at the venue when the Volvo China Open was held there in 2014, two under par through 12 holes with the par five 13th to come.
The clubhouse target was set at 13 under par as Scott Hend was left ruing a missed short birdie putt at the 17th which would have moved him alongside the trio sitting atop the leaderboard, the Australian carding an impressive six under 66.
Play will resume at 6:30am local time. It is the first Monday finish in a regular European Tour event since the 2011 Singapore Open, although last year’s extended Open Championship was the last on the tour’s Race to Dubai schedule.
“It's a good position for me, and I have five holes tomorrow. So I just have to try to focus on my golf a little more, really focus, but I think this tournament has been really good for me. Hopefully I can win it. On the front nine, I was too nervous. But I took my time at the ninth hole, and then I got comfortable. So tomorrow, I will just try to win.”
“I feel great. I played some good golf today, especially this morning. I shoot six under now and I’m in position. The greens were a little bit bumpy because with the rain and a lot of people walking on them. But it's nice to come back tomorrow, fresh greens and good conditions, and I really enjoy this position. We'll see what happens tomorrow morning.”
It's just been really tough out there to keep your concentration and keep your strength. It's been a really difficult week. It is like two weeks in one this week, so I’ll be glad to get it over. Certainly I've managed to get more and more tired as the week goes on but I think everybody could say that. It's just been a real gruelling week, but I've hit the ball well all week. I've hit a lot of greens and I think that's been key to the performance. I could have holed more putts, but I've holed a few as well. Overall it's been a steady performance.”
“I think it's definitely going to be room service tonight. I'm going to tell them to hurry up, as well! It's just going to be an early night, try to get as much sleep as possible. Even if I don't fall asleep early, I'll be in bed resting, just try and feel as fit as I can tomorrow morning.”
“Six under today is a great round but it would have been nice to make birdie on 17 and maybe roll another putt in somewhere else to post a score for them to think about overnight. It is what it is. No chance that will be enough. I think 15 under is probably the mark. If I had have got in at 14 under, it would have given them something to think about. But three guys on 14 under and three guys on 13, I think someone will make a couple birdies coming in.”