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Joost Luiten leads by three at Lyoness Open in Austria

Updated: Saturday, 08 Jun 2013 18:47 | Comments

Dutchman Luiten leads by three going into the final round in Austria
Dutchman Luiten leads by three going into the final round in Austria

Holland's Joost Luiten recovered from a nightmare start to extend his lead going into the final round of the Lyoness Open in Austria.

One shot clear overnight, Luiten thinned a chip across the first green at Diamond Country Club and also bogeyed the fifth, but birdied seven of the remaining 13 holes to card a third round of 67.

At 16 under par, the 27-year-old, winner of the Iskandar Johor Open in 2011, leads by three shots from Spanish duo Eduardo De La Riva (69) and Jorge Campillo (66), with Denmark's Thomas Bjorn (64) and France's Romain Wattel (69) two strokes further back.

Damien McGrane enjoyed another under par round to move to five under, while Gareth Maybin is on two under with David Higgins three shots back on one over par.

Miguel Angel Jimenez, playing his 602nd European Tour event and having to win to qualify for next week's US Open, is six off the pace after a 69, while defending champion Bernd Wiesberger - who needs a top-12 finish to book his place at Merion - is in a tie for 29th after only managing a 72 to finish five under.

Earlier in the day, Bjorn had charged through the field with the aid of a "bit of a funny" eagle as he moved into contention for a 14th European Tour title.

Bjorn began the third round eight shots off the lead and dropped further back with a bogey on the second, but birdied three of the next four holes to be out in 34.

And the 42-year-old Dane then holed his second shot to the 12th for an eagle two and added four birdies to storm home in just 30 shots.

"It was a bit of a funny one," Bjorn said after completing a 64 to set the clubhouse target on 11 under par.

"I hit my drive on the 12th and the ball flew a bit funny.

"I said to my caddie going up the hole: 'Better change that ball on the next, it flew a bit funny,' so when the second shot went in he said 'Flying funny is it?'

"I was plodding along, playing all right, and then all of a sudden everything clicked into place and I couldn't stop making birdies on the last few holes.

"Patience has been the thing this week, I didn't get much out of the first two days and I stuck with it and tried to grind some scores out and today just let loose."

Bjorn, who was fourth in Sweden last week, added: "I've had some decent weeks now and I came down here with one thing on my mind, which was to win the golf tournament. The first two days was a bit disappointing but I've put myself in with a chance tomorrow.

"I'll be a few behind when we come to the end of the day, you can take advantage of the back nine, but at least I have a chance and that's the most important thing."

Luiten said: "It's easy if you play like I did on the back nine, but the first five holes were tough. Once I settled down a bit I started to play better, hit some good shots and make some putts.

"It was good to get some birdies back after that start. There are some tricky holes out there, but my irons felt good so I went at some pins.

"It's always good to have a lead in the last round, but tomorrow is a new day and I'll have to try to play good golf again. I'd prefer to be leading than to be behind. I don't mind playing with the lead.

"You still have to focus on your own game and play some good shots, without worrying what the other guys are doing."

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