SHANGHAI, China — A Ryder Cup surprise two months ago, England’s Oliver Wilson was just 16 holes away from the first significant victory of his career.
The moment could come in the final round of the HSBC Champions on Monday. Rain washed out play Friday, delaying the third round — and a few holes of the fourth — until Sunday.
Wilson shot a 3-under 69 for a three-round total of 12-under 204. He parred the first two holes of the fourth round before play was halted by darkness.
Australia’s Geoff Ogilvy and American Phil Mickelson shot 70s in the third round, leaving Ogilvy a stroke back and Mickelson two behind in his title defense.
Sergio Garcia (10 under) and Henrik Stenson (9 under) had 72s.
“Anytime you’re in the lead, it’s got to be the best place to be,” said Wilson, who teamed up with Stenson in the Ryder Cup to beat a team of Mickelson and Anthony Kim in foursomes.
“It (the Ryder Cup) has proved to me and everyone else that I can do it when it matters,” added Wilson, who has four runner-up finishes on the European tour, but has yet to win.
After three days of wet conditions, Sunday was dry, cool and windy at the Sheshan Golf Club on the outskirts of Shanghai.
“It was tough today,” Wilson said. “Definitely the toughest day we’ve had so far.”
Ogilvy won the U.S. Open in 2006 and has two wins in the World Golf Championships.
“I don’t know why I play well in big tournaments,” Ogilvy said. “Just one of those things. I wish I could explain it because if I could work it out I would do it in all tournaments.”
Ogilvy’s only win this season came on a Monday in Miami at the CA Championship, a World Golf Championships event.
“It’s hard to get any momentum when you’re playing holes in a broken-up fashion,” he said. “It’s a little bit awkward.”
Garcia had a chance to lead after three rounds, but stumbled on the back nine.
“I just played poorly the last eight holes,” Garcia said. “That’s pretty much it.”
The Spaniard was the leader at 12 under after 10 holes, but missed a 4-foot par putt on 11. He never quite recovered with two more bogeys on the back nine.
Garcia is ranked No. 3 behind Tiger Woods and Mickelson and has a chance to go to No. 2 if he finishes in the top three. He’s won twice this year and he’s been second — or tied for second — three times.
If Garcia wins the tournament, the No. 2 spot is his. If he finishes second, Mickelson needs to finish at least fourth to keep his No. 2 spot. If Garcia finishes third, the American will hold on by finishing at least 15th.
Anthony Kim was disqualified Sunday for playing with an altered driver.
Kim, part of the United States’ Ryder Cup victory over Europe two months ago, hit a sprinkler head as he tapped his driver on the ground while walking down the seventh fairway.
At the eighth, he hit his first drive only 150 yards, and out of bounds. He then hit a second provisional shot — also poorly. He took a triple-bogey 8 on the hole and played two more before he found a rules official, who told him he must disqualify himself for playing with an altered club.
Kim had an 8-over 44 on the front nine, and parred the 10th hole. He entered the third round at 5 under — five strokes behind the leaders — with rounds of 66 and 73.