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Defending champion Joost Luiten leads Lyoness Open in Austria

Updated: Saturday, 07 Jun 2014 17:35 | Comments

Joost Luiten shot a 66 in the third round of the Lyoness Open
Joost Luiten shot a 66 in the third round of the Lyoness Open

Defending champion Joost Luiten will take a two-shot lead over home favourite Bernd Wiesberger into the final round of the Lyoness Open, with much more than the title at stake for both men.

Victory for Luiten would take him significantly closer to becoming the first Dutchman to play in the Ryder Cup, while a win for 2012 champion Wiesberger would secure a debut in next week's US Open at Pinehurst.

Both men carded seven birdies and one bogey to shoot third rounds of 66 at Diamond Country Club on Saturday, leaving Luiten 11 under and Wiesberger nine under, with Paraguay's Fabrizio Zanotti two shots further back.

"I'm happy, 66 is good," said Luiten, who is currently just outside the automatic qualifying places for Paul McGinley's European team which will defend the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles.

"It could have been a bit lower as I was playing really well, especially the first 12 holes, but it's been a really good day. I've been playing consistently and hitting some good shots and making some good putts.

"All I can do is focus on this tournament now and playing here, next week is a new week. I am in a good position so I just want to finish it off tomorrow and see if we can win again here."

Luiten raced to the turn in 31 with five birdies before dropping his only shot of the day on the 14th, where he three-putted from the back of the green.

The 28-year-old bounced straight back with a birdie on the 15th thanks to a superb approach from a fairway bunker and holed from 35 feet for another on the 17th.

Wiesberger's only bogey was also the result of a three-putt on the 11th, the 28-year-old from Vienna having covered the front nine in 32 and adding birdies on the 10th, 13th and 18th.

Much earlier in the day, England's David Horsey had stormed through the field with a course-record 65, the 29-year-old racing to the turn in 30. 

Overnight leader Mikael Lundberg is alongside Horsey on five under after struggling to a 76.

Ireland’s Simon Thornton and Ruaidhrai McGee are in a share of tenth place on four under after Thornton shot a five-under-par 67 and McGee carded 69.

Weisberger, who could also qualify for the US Open by finishing outright second, depending on results elsewhere, said: "I played really well today and created a lot of chances, especially on the front nine when I think I had a birdie putt on virtually every hole."

"I holed a few longer ones but missed a few shorter ones, so it probably evened itself out overall. I also had a few looks on the back nine and managed to take a couple, although it was disappointing not to take advantage of either of the par fives. But I've made a nice move up the leaderboard, which was the main aim today.

"I'm not going to think about the US Open tomorrow. I'll try to get myself into position to lift the trophy, which would mean I can play next week as well, but it won't be on my mind.

“I'll just try and do the same thing as today. Everybody says that in my position, but I am feeling calm and good."

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