TOKYO - Japan's Hideki Matsuyama kept rising American star Jordan Spieth at bay with a composed four-under-par 67 on Saturday to stretch his lead to two strokes after three rounds of the Dunlop Phoenix tournament.
Overnight leader Matsuyama, who claimed his maiden victory on the US PGA Tour at the Memorial Tournament earlier this season, carded a bogey-free round while US Masters runner-up Spieth fired a 68 as the young guns continued their absorbing struggle on the windswept shoreline course in Miyazaki, western Japan.
Matsuyama will begin Sunday's final round on 14-under and on form the top two, who both produced rounds of 64 on Friday, look favourite, although Australia's Brendan Jones is just three off the pace after returning a 68.
Japanese pin-up Ryo Ishikawa showed glimpses of rediscovering his touch with a 68 to leave him tied for 36th on one under par, 13 shots off rival Matsuyama.
The US$1.7 million (S$2.2 million) Dunlop Phoenix boasts an illustrious roll-call of former winners, including Tiger Woods (2004-05), Tom Watson (1980, 1997) and Seve Ballesteros (1977, 1981).
South Korean Hur In-Hoi shot a 70 to reach the clubhouse alone in fourth, four off the top of the leaderboard. Australia's David Smail, who also carded a 70, was tied in a quartet in seventh place seven strokes off the leader.