Tom McKibbin and Michael Hoey both signed for even par rounds of 71 but remain in the hunt for decent weeks ahead of the final round of the Made in Esbjerg Challenge.
18-year old McKibbin traded four birdies with four bogeys to remain at level par for the tournament, tied alongside Hoey in 28th after the Ballymoney man bounced back from two front nine bogeys with two inward half birdies to stay at par for the day.
That leaves the Irish pair eight shots back of Scot Ewen Ferguson and Felix Mory of France who made the best of the windy conditions to get to eight-under par and share a one-shot lead going into the final day.
Ferguson carded five birdies and two bogeys in his round of 68, while Mory recorded three birdies and one bogey to sign for a 69 at Esjberg Golfklub in Denmark. Nicolai Tinning is their closest challenger, with the Dane making the most of his home advantage, to post the low round of the day with his round of 67 to get to seven under par.
Ferguson admitted that the conditions were challenging, but he tried to keep a positive mindset.
“It was really tough today,” said the 25-year old. “On the range before I went out it was really windy so I knew it was going to be a day when par was a good score. I tried to just keep my mistakes limited and when I got opportunities I tried to capitalise on them.
“I birdied three, which was a good birdie as it’s a tough hole, and then ticked off a few pars, but I had some chances on the par fives -seven and four – where I would expect to make more of them and didn’t. But I knew other people would make mistakes as its really tough and I was playing well enough to make myself opportunities, so me and my caddie were just having a laugh and trying to stay as high spirited as we could.”
Mory added that the conditions made moving day difficult however having been in this position before when he won the Dormy Open in Sweden earlier in the season, he knew what to expect.
“It was very tough,” said Mory. “The wind was blowing probably twice as much as the first two rounds but I am satisfied with my round today. I knew it was going to be hard, I looked at the forecast, so I just stayed patient and didn’t expect too much, I stuck to my plan.
“I hit the ball really well on the front. I gave myself a few opportunities, I missed a few putts, so I could have made a few more birdies but I hit it pretty close to the pins.
“I was already in this position in Sweden, so I knew what to expect and maybe how I was going to feel, so I just stuck to the game plan and had a good time.”
The final round of the Made in Esbjerg Challenge will get under way at 8 am local time, with Ferguson and Mory being joined by Tinning in the final group at 9:50am.
- Full scoring HERE