Schwartzel leads Chopra by five on Day 3 at Thailand Golf Championship

Charl Schwartzel at the Thailand Golf Championship
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Charl Schwartzel, last year's runner-up, had three birdies and an eagle Saturday at the Thailand Golf Championship to move one round closer to ending a victory drought that stretches back to his 2011 Masters win.
Associated Press

Series: Other Tour

Published: Saturday, December 08, 2012 | 12:32 p.m.

CHONBURI, Thailand -- Overnight leader Charl Schwartzel of South Africa had a 4-under 68 Saturday to extend his lead over Daniel Chopra of Sweden to five shots after the third round of the Thailand Golf Championship on the Asian Tour.

Schwartzel, last year's runner-up, shot three birdies and an eagle to go along with a bogey for an overall 18-under 198 at the Amata Spring Country Club, staying on track to end a victory drought that stretches back to his Masters win in 2011.


The 145-yard, par-3 17th hole at Amata Spring Golf Club, which hosts the Thailand Golf Championship, boasts the only floating green in Asia.

Thitiphun Chuayprakong had a 71 for third place. Sergio Garcia of Spain was fourth, eight shots back, after a 68. Australian Scott Hend (69) is another shot back, followed by Japan's Masanori Kobayashi (73) at 208.

Masters champion Bubba Watson (71) and defending champion Lee Westwood (70) are 11 shots behind Schwartzel.

"I feel comfortable playing this golf course," Schwartzel said. "That's the biggest key is just feel comfortable whatever you do. If that means being aggressive, then that's being aggressive."

Chopra, who started the round four strokes back, rallied after a double bogey on the fifth for a 69.

"I played fairly well. I had a couple of loose shots but nothing was really too bad," said Chopra, a two-time PGA Tour winner. "I'm five behind. Obviously, my goal is to go out there and try to make it uncomfortable for Charl. Nobody wants to see him run away with it. I want to do my best to make it close down the stretch."

Twenty-five players finished their second rounds Saturday after darkness ended play on Friday.