Min Woo Lee and Rikuya Hoshino share lead after contrasting 3rd rounds at Australian Open

SYDNEY (AP) — Min Woo Lee made a dramatic birdie on the 18th hole to keep his bid of winning back-to-back titles on track despite a challenging day in the third round of the Australia Open on Saturday.

Lee produced a trademark dazzling chip from the bunker and then rolled in for birdie on the par-5 18th to move back to the top of the leaderboard at 13-under with Japan’s Rikuya Hoshino.

The 25-year-old Western Australian's adventurous day included four birdies, a bogey and a double bogey for a round of 70 which included a number of shots from difficult lies in fairway rough or bunkers at The Australian course.

In contrast, Hoshino — who finished runner-up to Lee at last week’s Australian PGA Championship — was bogey-free and steadily climbed the leaderboard with four birdies and an eagle on the par-5 14th in a round of 65.

“Last week I couldn’t make the birdie on the back nine, but this week I have more birdies at the back nine to make the winning (possible),” Hoshino said. “This is the first time in Australia for me and I’m enjoying this atmosphere and also this tournament. That’s why I’m playing well.”