Zhou Jun, 24, could secure a famous wire-to-wire victory after a two-under-par 70 put him two clear of Chinese Taipei’s Chan Yih-shin going into the final round of the RMB1 million Omega Championship, the Omega China Tour’s season-ending event at the Beijing Longxi Hotspring Golf Club.
Zhou is the outright leader at five-under after sharing pole position for the first two days, while Chan, who also shot 70, is five strokes clear of the chasing pack.
Zhou will also play for the fourth successive day with Wu Kangchun, his best friend, whose 76 left him two-over and sharing third place with Johnson Xing Xiaoxuan, the second-round co-leader.
Xing, 27, kept up with the pace until the par-three 16th, when a triple-bogey by ‘Triple X’ saw him fall off the pace and finish with a 77.
A visibly frustrated Li Chao ended with a 73 to lie fifth on three-over, meaning he has only a remote chance of the victory required to win his third Omega Order of Merit in four seasons.
Liao Guiming, the current Omega Order of Merit leader, struggled with a stiff neck as an 81 put him joint 20th on nine-over.
Tianjin-based Zhou is in the form of his life after spending July and August in Beijing working with former national coach Song Qingli, which helped produce a fourth-place finish at the Tianjin Championship two weeks ago, his best-ever finish on Tour.