FUJIKAWAGUCHIKO, YAMANASHI PREF. – Hideki Matsuyama set himself up for his third win of the season on Saturday after a bogey-free 5-under-par 66 saw him take a four-shot lead into the final round of the Fujisankei Classic.
Matsuyama, who has enjoyed an excellent rookie season that has also included top 10 finishes at both the British and U.S. Open this summer, drained five birdies at the par-71 Fujizakura Country Club.
The 21-year-old, who won the Tsuruya Open and Diamond Cup and also has a pair of runner-up finishes in his first pro season on the JGTO Tour, improved to 11-under 202.
He pulled four strokes clear of second-round co-leaders Lee Hyung-joon of South Korea, Hideto Tanihara, and Kaname Yokoo, who all had rounds of 70.
Shingo Katayama had a 69 and was also tied for second place along with Park Sung-joon, who shot a 68.
Park’s compatriot and defending champion Kim Kyung-tae was tied for 11th at 4-under.
Ahn, Saiki, Yoshida atop leaderboard
South Korea’s Ahn Sun-ju stayed firmly on track for her third victory in as many weeks on Saturday as a 2-under-par 70 kept her tied for the lead going into the third round of the Golf 5 Ladies.
Ahn, who has won her last two JLPGA events at the CAT Ladies and the Nitori Ladies, made three birdies against a lone bogey at the ninth hole at Alpen Golf Club’s Bibai Course to reach 7-under 137.
Miki Saiki carded a 70, and Yumiko Yoshida had a 68 to take her place among the leading trio, all of whom have two victories this season.
Yuko Mitsuka (66), Miki Sakai (67) and 36-year-old Shiho Oyama (67) were one shot back in a tie for fourth.
South Korea’s Lee Na-ri and Taiwan’s and Wei Yun-jye, who started the day tied for first with Ahn, Saiki and Taiwan’s Phoebe Yao, shared seventh at 5 under.
Yao dropped into 17th after struggling with a 75.
Rikako Morita missed the cut by one stroke after a 76. Fifty-one players advanced to Sunday’s final round.