April 28, 2017 / 12:48 PM / 4 months ago

Larrazabal grabs halfway lead in China

Golf - Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship - Abu Dhabi Golf Club, United Arab Emirates - 23/1/16 Spain's Pablo Larrazabal in action during the third round. Action Images via Reuters / Paul Childs

(Reuters) - Pablo Larrazabal maintained his impressive form to card a six-under-par 66 and take the halfway lead at the China Open, three shots clear of Dylan Frittelli and overnight leader Alexander Levy.

The 33-year-old Spaniard Larrazabal, who has secured four top-15 finishes in nine events this season, seized control at Topwin Golf and Country Club on the back-nine with an eagle on the 11th hole followed by birdies on the 12th and 15th.

Following a spotless weekend at Shenzhen International last week, he extended his run to 81 holes before dropping a shot on the 17th to finish 14 under-par.

"It's good to have some confidence coming into the week - I feel like I'm just trying to keep up the same stuff I was working on last week - and so far so good," Larrazabal said.

"It's been a great two days of work, I have been playing good and putting awesome so I am looking forward to the weekend."

Earlier in the day, Frittelli had fired a 63 to match the clubhouse record set by Levy on day one. The 2014 winner Levy followed up with a 70 to share second spot with the South African.

The duo was followed by South Korea's Lee Soo-min on the leaderboard after a bogey-free 65, while Belgian Thomas Detry and South African George Coetzee shared the fifth spot at eight under.

South African pair Dean Burmester and Jaco van Zyl, Joost Luiten of the Netherlands, Germany's Bernd Ritthammer, Englishman Graeme Storm, 2010 champion Y.E. Yang and last week's winner Bernd Wiesberger were at seven under to share the seventh place on the standings.

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Edmund Blair

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