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Taiwan's Lin hangs on to Manila lead despite late wobble

(Reuters) - Taiwan's Lin Wen-tang clung to the Solaire Open lead despite dropping two shots in his final three holes of the third round at the inaugural $300,000 Asian Tour event on Saturday.

A five-times Asian Tour winner, Lin was in cruise control before he bogeyed the 16th and 17th holes, but finished his round in two-under 70 for a one-shot advantage at the Wack Wack Golf and Country Club.

Thai veteran Thammanoon Sriroj, one of four joint leaders after the halfway stage, mixed five birdies with four bogeys for a 71 to drop one shot behind.

Compatriot Pawin Ingkhapradit, who birdied three of his closing four holes, and local favorite Elmer Salvador carded matching 71s to lie a further shot back on 214.

Lin, who sank two birdies in each nine, stumbled when trying to chip out from thick rough on the 16th and 17th.

"I don't know if I can still win tomorrow because it has been a long time since I last won," said Lin, who beat Rory McIlroy at the 2008 Hong Kong Open in a dramatic playoff.

"I just want to enjoy the tournament. I will try and relax because I'm excited about my round," said the 39-year-old.

"There are a lot of good players here and I will need a lot of luck to win the tournament. I'm happy with the birdies I made. I hope I can win," he added.

Thammanoon's mood was much darker.

"If you look at my score, you will know how inconsistent I was today," rued the Thai, a natural lefty who plays golf right-handed.

"My head wasn't in the right place. I made many wrong club selections and that backfired on me. It was disappointing. I need to really plan my round," added Thammanoon, who is seeking his first win since 2004.

(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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