Australian Scott Hend upstaged Ernie Els to take a four-shot lead at the US$800,000 Venetian Macau Open today.
Big-hitting Hend went on a birdie blitz on the front nine, going out in 29 shots, but cooled down on the back nine to finish with an eight-under-63 to lead at 12 under par.
Els and overnight leader Siddikur of Bangladesh were in second place at eight-under. Els had an up-and-down day to finish with a three-under 69, and Siddikur a 70.
“I've got to go low [tomorrow],” Els said. “It seems like Scott is playing really good. I played with him the first two rounds, and he had a tough start the first day, but since then he's been on fire."
Hend said his score would have been even better if he didn’t “over-complicate” a few holes and that if “someone comes out tomorrow and shoots 61 then hats off to them".
“I just have to hit my targets and hit my goals,” said the US-based golfer, who has already won twice on the Asian Tour this year.
“Sooner or later you have to reap the rewards of working hard, and I've worked hard for the past 18 months, and hopefully it's coming together."
He lies in second place in order of merit with winnings of US$397,464, behind Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat (US$711,074), who is having a week off.
China’s Liang Wenchong moved up the leaderboard with a five-under 66 but is eight shots off the pace.