Natadola - American Brandt Snedeker tamed the wind Saturday to take a three-shot lead on the third day of the European Tour-sanctioned Fiji International at the Natadola Bay Golf Course.Battling the breeze, the eight-times PGA tour winner fired a two-under 70 to go with his opening rounds of 69 and 65 to pull clear of Australian Anthony Houston who had a third-round 73.
Overnight leader Matthew Giles struggled in the wind with the Australian's three-over 75 pushing him back to third on 208, one stroke ahead of New Zealanders Michael Hendry and Gareth Paddison.
Snedeker had little time to get the feel of the course after flying in late from America's Ryder Cup victory and had a bogey at the second in the opening round.
But he then put together a blemish-free run of 49 holes before tripping up with a bogey on the 16th in the third round and then immediately regained the stroke with a birdie on the next hole.
"It was a tough day, I did a great job of hanging in there. I hit the ball really well off the tee with one exception and put the ball where I needed to all day," Snedeker said.
"A three-shot lead in wind like this is one hole so I need to go out there and play a solid round of golf like I did today."
Hendry also mastered the wind, going four under with a 68 while Paddison, who set a course record 64 on Friday, signed for a 69.
They were followed by Australian Ben Eccles, who went two-under 70 to be equal with fellow-Australian Brett Rankin and South Korea's Inhoi Hur who both shot even par to be six-under going into Sunday's final round.
Leading third-round scores in the European Tour's Fiji International at the par-72 Natadola course on Saturday (Australian unless stated):
204 - Brandt Snedeker (USA) 69-65-70
207 - Anthony Houston 65-69-73
208 - Matthew Giles 67-66-75
209 - Michael Hendry (NZL) 73-68-68, Gary Paddison (NZL) 76-64-69
210 - Ben Eccles 69-71-70, Inhoi Hur (KOR) 71-67-72, Brett Rankin 69-69-72
211 - Todd Sinnott 69-74-68, Andrew Evans 70-70-71, Matthew Griffin 68-70-73
212 - Josh Younger 71-69-72, Lukas Nemecz (AUT) 70-69-73, Daniel Fox 70-69-73, Aaron Pike 67-70-75
213 - Lindsay Wilson 71-74-68, Ryan Haller 68-73-72, Brad Shilton 69-70-74
214 - Aron Price 69-70-75, Peter Wilson 72-68-74, Stephen Leaney 66-72-76, Jarrod Lyle 74-73-67.