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Adam Scott fires 64 at WGC Champions golf

AAP logoAAP 29/10/2016 Phil Casey

Australian golfer Adam Scott has bounced back to shoot an eight-under-par 64 in the third round of the the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai but is 14 strokes behind outright leader Hideki Matsuyama of Japan.

The former world No.1 is three-under 213, going into Sunday's final round, in a six-way tie for 26th.

Scott on Saturday continued his up-and-down form, his third-round 64 coming after a horror eight-over second round of 80 and an opening-day 69.

Ahead of the final round, Matsuyama held a three-shot lead over defending champion Russell Knox of Scotland as Rory McIlroy's title challenge faded.

Matsuyama, who is a career-high 10th in the world after winning the Japan Open a fortnight ago and finishing second in Malaysia last week, carded a bogey-free 68 on Saturday to reach 17 under at Sheshan International.

That was enough to maintain his overnight lead as Knox also returned a 68 in pursuit of becoming only the second player after Tiger Woods to retain a World Golf Championships title.

American Daniel Berger was a shot behind Knox after a third-round 67, with Francesco Molinari and Bill Haas another stroke adrift on 12 under.

McIlroy was within four of the lead when he produced a brilliant recovery shot on the par-5 eighth to set up his third birdie of the day, but the world No.3 bogeyed the 11th, 12th and 15th holes to slip down the leaderboard.

Birdies on 16 and 18 repaired some of the damage and gave McIlroy a round of 70 but, at nine under, he was eight shots off the lead.

Knox, who was inches away from a hole-in-one on the fourth, was two behind Matsuyama when he picked up another shot on the 13th, only to find water with his approach to the par-5 14th as Matsuyama hit the green in two.

A two or three-shot swing looked certain and Matsuyama duly two-putted from long range for birdie, but Knox holed from 25 feet for an unlikely par and birdied the 15th for good measure.

The Florida-based Scot was unable to find any more birdies on the closing stretch and Matsuyama two-putted the 18th for a closing birdie to extend his lead as he looked to become the first Japanese player to win a WGC event.

Race to Dubai leader Danny Willett has just two players below him on the leaderboard after a 75 left him 11 over par.

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