McDowell three back while Phelan flies high with 68 in Asia

Ronan MacNamara

Kevin Phelan (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Ronan MacNamara

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Graeme McDowell is three shots adrift with two holes remaining of his third round at the BNI Indonesian Masters presented by Tunas Niaga Energi.

McDowell is five-under through sixteen holes and twelve-under for the tournament which is currently good enough for a share of third place – three behind leader Sarit Suwannarut.

Waterford’s Kevin Phelan battled valiantly to make the cut after returning to complete the final seven holes of his second round and he continued that momentum into his third with a four-under 68 to move to six-under and just outside the top-20.

Beginning on the back nine, the 2013 Walker Cup player breezed to the turn in 33 with three birdies arriving on 11, 14 and 18.

He did drop one on the 5th but he also birdied 2 and 6 to climb the leaderboard and another good day could see him push towards the top-10 of which he is just three shots outside of.

While Suwannarut has four holes left of round three the clubhouse leader is former world number one Lee Westwood who is ten-under-par after a second successive 66.

“I three putted 10, three putted 12, but you know I birdied 11, 14 and 18 so kind of balanced that out,” said the 49 year old who is a three-time winner of this event.

“But it got a little bit tricky towards the end, the wind just picked up a little bit, 17 and 18 played tricky into the wind and out the left. But yeah, played alright and made a few nice putts, and hit some good putts that didn’t go in. I’m pleased with my day, at least we got finished.”

Having opened with a first round 74 the Englishman has rebounded brilliantly and blamed lack of play for his slow start.

He said: “It was a combination of a lot of things, but I had four weeks off coming into this week and hit balls for about three hours. So, you know, I went home did a lot of gym work but didn’t really work on my golf game, so I felt really rusty. I’ve been struggling with a bit of a chest infection and not sleeping great with the jetlag, so didn’t do as much practice over the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday as I would have liked, and you know just felt rusty and out of sorts. I was four over through 16 but then birdied the last two holes to finish two over and then played well since.”

Victory tomorrow would allow to add a missing item from his impressive portfolio: winning an event for the fourth time.

“I will just keep playing like I played the last two days really; you know hit a lot of fairways,” he said.

“I think this golf course gives you chances if you hit fairways, but as soon as you start hitting it in the rough it becomes tricky. I’ve driven the ball pretty well the last two days and started hitting my iron shots a little bit more consistent.

“And I’ve given myself a lot of chances you know, 14 under for the last 38 holes is really the worst I could have been. I could have shot 10 under yesterday and 10 under today quite easily, so my game is pretty good for beginning of December.”

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