David Dixon continued his excellent form to establish a two shot lead going into the final round of the European Challenge Tour’s Open de Toulouse, but he will meet strong resistance from home hero Olivier David over the last 18 holes after the Frenchman set a new course record of nine under par 63 at the Golf de Toulouse Palmola.
Dixon leads David by two strokes, with Frenchman Thomas Fournier, the Swede, Steven Jeppesen, and Andres Romero of Argentina tied for third place on 12 under par, with Germany’s christain Reimbold and Brad Sutterfield of the USA a further stroke behind.
Having never been in a winning position going into the final round of a Challenge Tour event, Dixon does not know what to expect on Sunday afternoon, but is certain that if he can produce the same kind of form that has served him so well for the first three days of the tournament then he will give himself enough birdie opportunities to secure a maiden Challenge Tour victory at this most crucial stages of the season.
He definitely had enough chances during the third round – six of which he converted into birdies during the third round. Those strokes he picked up where offset by just a single bogey, leaving him two clear of David with 18 holes to play.
“I played quite well again today,” said Dixon after signing for a 67. “I gave myself a a lot of chances and I am very pleased with that aspect of my game. If I can gout out there and do the same again tomorrow then I will have a great chance to win.
“I have never been in this position before going tin to the final round so I will just have wait and see what tomorrow brings, but a win – especially at this stage of the season would be brilliant for me.
“I’m currently looking at having to go to Stage Two of the Qualifying School, but if I could win here tomorrow then I would be straight to the Final Stages, and I would also get into the dual ranking event next week which has a big purse on offer for the Challenge Tour boys.
“So, I could still get my card for The European Tour through the Challenge Tour Rankings, but I will get tomorrow out of the way before I start thinking too much about that.”
David was in sensational form over the course he called home while playing his Amateur golf. The Frenchman used his vast knowledge of the Golf de Palmola to perfection, crafting that brilliant 63 to surge through the field and into contention to secure his second Challenge Tour title of the season.
Seven birdies and an eagle three – the result of a perfect bunker shot on the par five 13th – saw David home in 63 strokes, and he is hoping for more of the same in the final round in front of a large home support.
"It was just a great day for me today,” said David, who won the FIRSTPLUS Wales Challenge back in May. “I really enjoyed myself out there and everything just went right for me, so it was a lot of fun.
“It is a big time of the season because we do not have long until the end, but you never know when the great golf is going to come. You just go out there and try to everything you can and when it comes you just have to try and enjoy it."