Australia’s Marcus Fraser leads the 2010 Ballantine’s Championship by one shot going into the final round, but he’ll face a battle to win the biggest title of his career with a strong field, including Ernie Els, not far off the pace.

Fraser shot a two-under-par 70 at Pinx Golf Club on the Korean holiday island of Jeju on Saturday to reach nine-under 135 in the €2.2 million event. 

Fog has reduced the tournament to 54 holes after play was held up for six hours on the first day. 

Meanwhile, Northern Ireland’s Gareth Maybin returned a second successive 68 to stand one shot back on eight-under with defending champion Thongchai Jaidee and Tano Goya of Argentina, who both had Saturday off after completing their second rounds on Friday.

“I played really well,” said Fraser. “I made a couple of good birdies towards the end of the round, but it was very tough conditions out there so I think two-under was a pretty good score.

Fraser’s best finish this season was joint 11th at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic. His lone European Tour win came seven years ago at the BMW Russian Open.

Three players were grouped on seven-under including three-time Major winner Els, who shot a 69 on Saturday.

Ahead of Sunday, Els said: “Obviously, I’ve got to get off to a good start. I’ve got to really play the par fives well, hopefully make some birdies, maybe eagles. I need a low one, so hopefully I’ll play well.”

Two players were in joint eighth place on six-under – Singaporean Mardan Mamat and England’s Oliver Fisher, who both shot 70.

Six-time European Tour winner Henrik Stenson remains in contention – the Swede returned a 70 to stand four strokes off the pace.

PGA Tour star Anthony Kim fell down the leaderboard with a two-over 74 that dropped him to two-under – seven shots behind Fraser.