Ardglass native Cormac Sharvin moved through the gears at the Celtic Manor Resort in round three as he carded a six-under par round of 65 to move into the top-10 at the Celtic Classic.
Sharvin bagged six birdies, including three on the bounce from the 11th and dropped just the one shot on the 9th to leave himself five shots behind overnight leader Connor Syme who is going in search of his maiden European Tour title.
There was less positive news for Jonathan Caldwell as he failed to capitalise on his opening rounds of 68 and 66 and dropped back into the pack with a one-over par 72 effort today that included a double bogey on the 6th as well as a bogey on the 18th and just two birdies.
Scotland’s Syme on the other hand carded a tournament-low eight-under par round of 63 to take a one stroke lead into the final day having started the third round four strokes behind halfway leader Sam Horsfield. He quickly made his move with three birdies on the front nine and the 25-year-old carded five birdies on the back nine as he went on to sign for a 15-under par total, one stroke ahead of Horsfield.
“I just played lovely, to be honest. It’s obviously very nice conditions and I got off to a decent start. I maybe didn’t play the front nine as well as I’d like but I managed to get to three under through nine, which was great. I holed the putts that I had opportunities on so it was a nice base to build on. It was nice throughout, really,” said Syme.
“I felt like I played well in Austria, the first event back, but then a bit slow after that to start the UK Swing. I’m finding a bit of form. I made the cut at the Hero Open and then gradually a little bit better last week. I found something a little bit in my swing and I’m just rolling with that really,” he added.
Horsfield, who is seeking s second title since the European Tour season resumed after winning the Hero Open a fortnight ago, parred the first eight holes before his first birdie of the day on the ninth. Two gains followed on the 14th and 16th holes as, like Syme, he returned a blemish-free card.
“I actually stayed really calm out there. I felt like I was actually playing really well, I hit a lot of greens and as I said walking up nine, I was just waiting for my putter to get hot. I made a few nice putts, didn’t take advantage of the easy holes on the back nine but I’m happy with the position I’m in,” he said.
Sweden’s Sebastian Soderberg carded a bogey-free six under par 65 to move up to third place on 13 under par, one stroke ahead of Thomas Detry of Belgium, England’s Andrew Johnston and Adrian Meronk of Poland.
2016 Ryder Cup player Thomas Pieters of Belgium and England’s Callum Shinkwin share seventh on 11 under.