Van Pelt sneaks past Overton in Malaysia

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 9:57 AM ET

Selangor, Malaysia - Bo Van Pelt birdied three of his final four holes Saturday to sneak past Jeff Overton and into the lead after three rounds of the CIMB Asia Pacific Classic Malaysia.

Van Pelt shot a four-under 67 after two opening bogeys and finished 54 holes at 16-under 197 to take a one-stroke lead at The Mines Resort & Golf Club. Although this is an unofficial PGA Tour event, Van Pelt is looking for his first victory since 2009.

The key to Van Pelt's round was recovering after his brutal start, falling back to 10-under before making a run.

"I think it just comes from experience," Van Pelt said in a televised interview. "I've been in this position before and been playing this game a long time, and I just didn't make a big deal about it."

Both 36-hole co-leaders struggled on Saturday, but still have a chance at the title on Sunday.

Overton led most of the afternoon, despite only two birdies in his first 13 bogey-free holes. He lost his way on 14, however, hitting a poor chip shot from off the green en route to a bogey. He had two more poor chips that prevented a couple birdie chances down the stretch, but ended with a sensational approach at 18 and a birdie that gave him a 69 for the round and a 15-under 198 overall.

Fredrik Jacobson, who shared the lead with Overton, was inconsistent all day and finished at even-par 71 to fall to fourth at 12-under 201. Mark Wilson jumped ahead of Jacobson after shooting a 67 and is third at minus-13.

Jason Dufner (65), Danny Chia (66) and Vijay Singh (66) share fifth at 11- under 202.

It was Van Pelt who creeped into the picture around the turn.

After dropping a shot on each of the first two holes, he recovered with birdies on Nos. 3 and 5 to get back to even-par for the round. Van Pelt was still three shots back after 10 holes following Overton's 15-foot birdie putt at the same hole.

Van Pelt, though, sank a 15-footer for birdie at 12 to get within two shots, and Overton went on to bogey the 14th with a bad chip. When Van Pelt drove the green on the par-four 15th and two-putted for birdie, both players stood atop the leaderboard at 14-under.

But Van Pelt kept surging, sticking the tee shot at 16 to 10 feet en route to another birdie and the outright lead. In the meantime, Overton kept struggling, missing chip shots at 15 and 17 that would have given him solid birdie opportunities.

"I hit two par-fives in two, and I drove 15...The wind was just perfect for my little fade," Van Pelt said on television. "That takes a lot of pressure off when you have three tap-in birdies."

Instead, Overton settled for pars, and Van Pelt's birdie at the par-five 17th provided a two-shot cushion. Overton, though, managed to pull together for the last with a great approach and subsequent birdie.

The two will be in Sunday's final pairing, with Overton searching for his first victory after several runner-up finishes in his career.

NOTES: Defending champion Ben Crane shot a three-under 68 on Saturday and shared 14th at eight-under...A day after Overton's 62 set a course record, nobody shot better than a 65 in the third round...Van Pelt's lone PGA Tour win came at the 2009 U.S. Bank Championship. He also has a Nationwide Tour win in 2003.


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