Kuala Lumpur - American Bo Van Pelt survived a disastrous start to creep into the lead going into the final round of the $6.1-million CIMB Asia Pacific Classic after a tense day of action on Saturday.
Van Pelt, who has won only once on the US PGA Tour, heads the leaderboard on a three-day total of 16-under-par 197 in sweltering Kuala Lumpur after shooting a decent 67 despite starting his third round with two bogeys.
He was a shot ahead of overnight leader and fellow American Jeff Overton at the co-sanctioned PGA Tour and Asian Tour showpiece at The Mines Resort & Golf Club in the Malaysian capital.
Another US player, Mark Wilson, was tied third with Swede Fredrik Jacobson, who had sat atop the leaderboard with Overton overnight.
Van Pelt, 36, whose sole win on the PGA Tour was in 2009, admitted he had got off to the worst possible start.
"I bogeyed the first two holes but I guess it was so bad I couldn't get too mad," said Van Pelt. "I thought surely it can only get better than this.
"It is a chance to win so it's exciting and I am looking forward to it. It's been a while since I won a golf tournament."
Overton, who shot a 69 after a course record 62 on Friday, said: "I didn't hit it quite as well or as close as yesterday but still managed to hit the greens."
"I played pretty solid but all in all we are right in position to have a good day tomorrow," said Overton, who was a last-minute entry for the tournament and has admitted to suffering from bad jet lag.
"Today I probably felt better than the rest of the week," Overton, who is yet to win on the PGA Tour, said of his energy levels.
"I'm getting over the jet lag but I got a few extra hours sleep. The wind helped to keep it cool. I don't think the first day I've ever felt so hot in my life."
Asked what his preparation would be for the all-important final day, he said: "No beers, just a bunch of water and a good night's sleep again."
Injury-plagued former world No 1 Vijay Singh warned that he was getting back to his top-class best after he posted a solid five-under-par 66. He was sitting tied fifth with local hope Danny Chia and American Jason Dufner.
The big Fijian, who was the No 1 in the official world rankings for 32 weeks in 2004 and 2005, said: "I played five-under but I didn't play very well, though I scored very well."
The three-time Major winner, 48, added: "I've got to go out there tomorrow and shoot a very low one to have a chance of wining.
"I'm in a position to shoot a good one and win."
Singh suffered more than two years of back and knee problems, but says he is back to full health after a run that has seen him plummet to a lowly 58 in the world.
"My health is perfect now," he said after his competitive third round. "Health-wise I'm very good. I don't have a pain in my body.
"But golf-wise I'm still trying to get back to where I was. It's only three months since I got my health back so the golf game is coming along.
Leading third round scores from the co-sanctioned US PGA Tour and Asian Tour Asia Pacific Classic in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday: (par 71)
197 - Bo Van Pelt (USA) 66-64-67
198 - Jeff Overton (USA) 67-62-69
200 - Mark Wilson (USA) 67-66-67, Fredrik Jacobson (SWE) 65-64-71
202 - Jason Dufner (USA) 70-67-65, Danny Chia (MAS) 71-65-66, Vijay Singh (FIJ) 72-64-66
203 - Ryan Palmer (USA) 71-65-67, Chris Kirk (USA) 71-65-67, Camilo Villegas (COL) 69-66-68
204 - Jerry Kelly (USA) 69-66-69, Jimmy Walker (USA) 66-67-71, Stewart Cink (USA) 67-66-71