• Kyodo


Hideki Matsuyama’s putting continued to haunt him on Saturday as he shot a 4-under-par 68 to stay three strokes off the lead after the third round of the CIMB Classic.

Starting the day in third, Matsuyama carded six birdies and two bogeys at the par-72 Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club, with a three-day total of 17-under 199 placing him in a four-way tie for fourth.

Matsuyama made a strong start with birdies on Nos.3 and 4, but bogeys on par-3 Nos.8 and 15 saw him shoot higher than his two previous rounds and he blamed the putting woes that have plagued him the past year.

“My putts are gradually getting worse. I’ve been losing my feel. If only I can regain my confidence before the final round,” Matsuyama said. “If my (putting) form really returns, I can put up a score that will blow people away and perhaps win the title.”

Americans Justin Thomas and Bredan Steele share the top spot, with compatriot Kevin Na trailing a shot behind. Ryo Ishikawa is 37th after a two-birdie, one-bogey round left him at 7-under 209.

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