BEIJING  - South African Branden Grace — widely seen as a star of the future — struck an eight-under par 64 at Binhai Lake Golf course in Tianjin on Saturday to take a three shot lead into the final round of the Volvo China Open.

Defending champion Nicolas Colsaerts of Belgium was lying in second place after birdying the last hole for a round of 66, and Paraguay’s Fabrizio Zanotti was another shot down in third.

Meanwhile, Sweden’s Alexander Noren took advantage of the favourable conditions to shoot a new course record with a round of nine-under par 63 at the $3 million event co-sanctioned by OneAsia and the European Tour. That put him on an overall total of 203, five shots behind the leader and with a share of fourth place.

Grace, 24, has already won twice this season, at the Joburg Open and at the Volvo Champions of Golf tournament in his native South Africa.

Noren’s course record included 10 birdies and a bogey. He attributed his new found form to a change in his practice routine.

“I am now trying to concentrate on hitting less shots but concentrating a lot more and trying to produce real quality all the time,” he said.

“You look at the guys who are the best in the world and they seem to do that. I haven’t done that in the past but I am feeling the benefits of it now.”

England’s Ian Poulter, at 25 the top ranked player in the field, shot a 70 for a total of 212, some 14 shots off the pace.