Jonathan Caldwell produced a third round of one over par (72) at the DS Automobiles Italian Open and is in T39th position after what was a rollercoaster round.
Caldwell started off poorly with a double bogey on his opening hole before a birdie on two was followed by 8 pars. He then added an eagle ‘2’ on the 11th before giving another back on 14 for the third day in a row, and he then closed with a birdie on 15 and another double bogey on 17 to find himself on -2 for the tournament.
At the top of the table Nicolai Højgaard has his sights set on following his twin brother Rasmus into the winner’s circle after firing a flawless third round 65 for a -13 total and he now takes a one shot lead into the final round.
Rasmus Højgaard, of course, won last week’s Omega European Masters in Switzerland to become a three-time European Tour champion at the age of just 20 and after making his huge move up the leaderboard on Saturday, Nicolai has an opportunity to make the Højgaards the first brothers to win back-to-back events on the European Tour.
The Dane produced the shot of the day at the par four 16th, coming close to holing his tee shot for an unlikely albatross. He instead made a close range eagle there to add to the four birdies he already had on his card, and would head into the clubhouse on 13 under par.
“I’m really happy. I played overall pretty good. I wanted to get up and down on the 18th to post 14 under but I’m really happy with minus 13, said Højgaard.
“I am just trying to have a steady level of emotions. I try not to get too excited when I am hitting a shot or the other way around. I am just trying to be calm all the time and sometimes it happens to be good, sometimes not, but I had a really good day on the course.
“I would really love to win. Seeing Rasmus win is a big motivation. I’m just trying to follow in his steps a little bit. Hopefully I can get it done tomorrow,” he added.
Tommy Fleetwood and Daniel van Tonder had joined Højgaard at the summit around the time he tidied up for par on the 18th green, but they each dropped their only shot of the day late in their rounds to slip back to 12 under. They share second place, one stroke ahead of Finn Mikko Korhonen in fourth.
Fleetwood commented, “I’m happy. I stayed patient through the front nine. There were a few people that got off to a really fast start but I didn’t really have many chances. I had a couple of chances on the fifth and seventh that didn’t go in.
“But I felt like my putts on the eighth and tenth – the two up-and-downs I made there – were so important, just not to make a bogey and not to fall backwards at that point, and I felt like those were the two most important putts of the day.
“Then I played some lovely golf from the 12th – 12, 13, 14, 15 I just found a little stretch where I hit the ball so well, did hardly anything wrong. I got a bit lucky on the 16th. When you miss one putt like 17th – and I’ve putted so well, I hit such a lovely putt as well, it’s just the way that hole was placed, it was very difficult.
“I’m happy with where I’m at in the tournament. It’s nice to come down the stretch on a Saturday in contention knowing you’re fighting for your place so high up on the board going into Sunday, and I’ve got Sunday to look forward to.
“I’m excited to go into a Sunday in contention and see where my game’s at really. It’ll be a nice time to come into form so I’ll keep trying.”
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