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Blyth leads by one but Liang lurks

AUSTRALIAN Adam Blyth fired a six-under 66 yesterday to take a one-stroke lead heading into the final round of the Malaysia Open in Kuala Lumpur, when he will attempt to hold off a big field of close challengers.

Blyth had an eagle and six birdies against two bogeys yesterday to finish with a three-round total of 14-under 202, putting him within touching distance of a maiden victory. He was a shot ahead of China's Liang Wenchong (67) and Sweden's Alexander Noren (69) in the jointly-sanctioned Asian Tour and European Tour event.

American Anthony Kang roared up the leaderboard with a 64 to be one stroke further back at 12-under. Joining him on that mark, and in similarly impressive fashion, were England's Miles Tunnicliff (63) and Thailand's Prayad Marksaeng (65).

With 18 players within six strokes of Blyth, the US$2 million event remains wide open going to the final round.

Blyth made his professional debut in the 2005 edition of this tournament, and it would a piece of neat symmetry if he can get his pro title breakthrough today. But he was trying to avoid such thoughts. "It would mean the world if I can win any tournament, but here will be great."

Liang finished his round with successive birdies to claim a share of second. "In golf, anything can happen," he said. "But I feel relaxed and calm."

Second-round leader Danny Chia shot a 74 but remains only three shots off Blyth, 27.

At Pebble Beach, California, Retief Goosen, seeking his first title in more than three years, was two shots clear in the second round of the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am on Friday.

Three shots off the pace overnight, South African Goosen fired a sizzling eight-under 64 on the Pebble Beach Golf Links, one of three venues being used.

Big-hitting Dustin Johnson, co-leader with fellow American Robert Garrigus after the opening round, was alone in second after carding a 69 on the more difficult Spyglass Hill layout.

Garrigus shot a 71 at Poppy Hills to lie four shots off the pace, level with compatriots Charley Hoffman (70) and Mark Calcavecchia (69), plus Canadian Mike Weir (69).


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