Gareth Paddison of New Zealand moved into a three shot lead with 18 holes to play at the A.G.F. Allianz Open des Volcans – Challenge de France after a third round 68 took him to six under par 207.
Two birdies in his closing three holes saw Paddison surge three clear of Frenchman Michael Lorenzo-Vera, with Sweden’s Lief Westerberg in third place, four behind Paddison on two under.
While the conditions for the third round improved with warm temperatures and no wind at the Golf des Volcans, scoring remained as tough as it had been for the first two days of the tournament, when cold, gusting winds were the prevalent conditions.
None of that bothered Paddison who was delighted to open up a three shot advantage to enter uncharted territory in his golfing career.
“This is the first time that I have led going into the final round of a tournament in Europe so I am delighted with how things have gone today,” said Paddison, who finised off is third round with birdies at the 16th and 17th.
“Tomorrow will be an exciting day. There will be added pressure with a three shot lead because I will expected to win, but I am looking forward to that pressure.
“It’s very difficult to score around this golf course. Even today, when the conditions were a lot better than the first two days, the scoring wasn’t too low. It’s a tough course, and I reckon that if I can shoot level par tomorrow then I’ll have a great chance to win.”
Paddsion has attributed his recent resurgence in form to his association with new coach Jason Floyd, and he continues to sing his new teacher’s praises.
“I have really changed a lot since I started working with Jason. There’s been a bit of an overhaul of the swing. Everything that I have done with him has been good for my game, and I am playing with a lot of confidence again.”