SHANGHAI — Hideki Matsuyama left the highlights to everyone else Saturday at the HSBC Champions. All he cared about was keeping the lead.
In a third round that was dull by the standard Matsuyama had set for himself in making 19 birdies the opening two days at Sheshan International, the Japanese star picked up three of his birdies on the par 5s and rarely got out of position. Bogey-free for the first time all week, he was more than satisfied with 4-under 68 to keep his three-shot lead.
"The first two days, making lots of birdies, it's a lot of fun," said Matsuyama, who was at 17-under 199 in the World Golf Championships event. "But (Saturday), when you're in a position to win, playing smart and making no bogeys was very satisfying for me."
Only four players were within five shots of his lead. In second place was defending champion Russell Knox (68).
Rory McIlroy tried to make a run and pulled off what he called one of the best short-game shots of his career for an unlikely birdie on the par-5 eighth. But McIlroy needed two late birdies to salvage 37 on the back nine, and his 70 left him eight shots behind.
PGA: Chris Kirk and Luke List each shot 7-under 65 to share the third-round lead in the Sanderson Farms Championship in Jackson, Miss. Kirk and List were at 14-under 202, one ahead of Cody Gribble (67), Graham DeLaet (68) and Lucas Glover (68). Second-round leader Grayson Murray had 72 to drop two shots behind.
CHAMPIONS: Tom Pernice had four straight birdies and shot 8-under 64 for a share of the PowerShares QQQ Championship lead with fellow former UCLA player Brandt Jobe in Thousand Oaks, Calif. Jobe had 66 to match Pernice at 11-under 133. First-round leader Colin Montgomerie (69) was a stroke back.
LPGA: Shanshan Feng birdied four of her final six holes after a long lightning delay to top the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur when darkness suspended play. Feng was 7 under for the day and 13 under overall on the 18th tee when play was stopped. Anna Nordqvist was a stroke back and on the par-5 16th. Second-round leader Amy Yang was third at 11 under with three holes left.