Peter Hanson, from Sweden, struggled early in Saturday’s third round of the BMW Masters in Shanghai, but rebounded on the back nine to finish -1 under par on the day, and retained a one shot lead over Rory McIlroy. After a birdie at the short par 4 second hole, Hanson got on the bogey train, but righted the front nine blues with a birdie on the 470 yard par 4 9th hole. He picked up three more birdies on the back nine, and finished the round with a 71, and held on to the tournament lead at -16 under par.
Rory McIroy traded a bogey on the front nine with a birdie to shoot even par. He picked up three more birdies on the back, and got to the clubhouse at Malaren Lakes Golf Club, with a -3 under par 69 on the day, and sits alone in second place at -15, one shot back. His round on Saturday was very uneventful, but he shaved one shot off of two shot deficit he began the day with.
Hanson had the opportunity at the new Jack Nicklaus designed golf course in Shanghai, Saturday, to put up a low number, and put this tournament out of reach for everyone except maybe McIlroy. But with his front nine struggles, he opened the door and let some pretty good golfers have a shot on Sunday to catch up.
George Cotzee from South Africa, shot a one bogey round, -6 under par 66 to vault into sole possession of third place. He is only three shots off the pace at -13 under. The 26 year old, from Pretoria had two birdies on the front nine, but had a two and three birdie run on the back nine, before getting bitten by the 471 yard par 4 18th hole.
Also having good rounds on Saturday, were the trio of Robert Hoey, Charl Schwartzel, and Luke Donald. They all shot a -4 under 68, and moved up to join a host of players all tied at -11 under par, just 5 strokes back. Graeme McDowell also shot a -6 under par 66 and joined a large group at -10 under par that included Louis Oostheuzen, Martin Kaymer, Paul Casey, and Ryder Cup rookie Nicolas Colsaerts.
Peter Hanson had better come out Sunday ready to play, or he will have a stampede of seasoned tour veterans nipping at his heels, and waiting for him to make a mistake. He is in a precarious position with the world number one and most of the Ryder cup team, all within striking distance.