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Rumford leads at European Tour's China Open

May 4, 2013 at 8:46 AM   |   Comments

TIANJIN, China, May 4 (UPI) -- Brett Rumford, after a 3-under-par 69 Saturday, has a one shot lead at the European Tour's Volvo China Open and is seeking to win back-to-back titles.

Rumford collected his first European Tour win in 5 1/2 years last week in South Korea and is bidding to become the first winner of consecutive tournaments on the tour since Braden Grace in January 2012.

Rumford's round Saturday included a string of birdies over No. 6-8 and 15 pars as he moved to 12-under 204 for the tournament.

Second-round leader Mikko Ilonen was 1-over 73 Saturday and dropped to 11-under for the tournament while Pablo Larrazabal (69 Saturday) is in third at 10-under and Kiradech Aphibarnrat (72) is fourth, three strokes off Rumford's lead.

While Rumford was a picture of consistency -- he made putts of 1 foot, 2 feet and 10 feet for his birdies -- Ilonen had problems Saturday. He had bogeys at Nos. 1 and 6 -- holes he birdied each of the first two rounds -- but answered with birdies at 2 and 7. He was even through the day until the final hole, where a poor drive caused him to bogey the par-5, 630-yard 18th.

Larrazabal had four straight birdies in one stretch Saturday but also posted four bogeys and three other birdies in an up-and-down round. Aphibarnrat's even-par day included four birdies and four bogeys.

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