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Saturday, 14 July 2012
Andrea Perrino (Andreas Meier/freshfocus) ()
Andrea Perrino (Andreas Meier/freshfocus) ()
Andrea Perrino continued a fine day for Italian golf as the Livorno man moved into a three way tie for the lead going into the final day of the Credit Suisse Challenge, alongside Finland’s Janne Mommo and Frenchman Gary Stal.

With his friend and fellow Inter Milan fan Francesco Molinari on stunning form at the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open on The European Tour, Perrino also had a day to remember at Golf Sempachersee, near Lucerne in Switzerland.

The 28 year old described it as one of the best rounds of his life as he carded four birdies and just one bogey on the way to a three under par 68, moving to ten under for the tournament.

He began with a birdie on the first before another at the sixth took him to the turn in two under par. Another birdie at the 14th was cancelled out by a bogey at the par three 16th but he finished in style by knocking his approach at the 18th to five foot and holing the birdie putt to take the tied lead into the final round.

“It was probably the best round of my life tee to green,” said Perrino, whose best career finish came at the dual-sanctioned 2011 SAINT OMER OPEN presented by Neuflize OBC, where he was tied fifth.

“I've been striking the ball unbelievable. I didn’t have a putt over six metres today and I just made a stupid bogey at the 16th. I hit a perfect shot to the green but it rolled off the back and I fluffed the chip. I managed to make bogey though and I knew I would have chances on the way in.

“I can’t ask to play better than this on the final day. I'm having fun and I just have to try and hole some more putts.”

One of his first moves after signing for a 68 in Switzerland was to check up on how his friend, Francesco of the Molinaris, was doing in Scotland and he said that he takes plenty of inspiration from the success of his compatriots.

“Francesco is playing unbelievable,” said Perrino. “The numbers in his last few rounds tell the whole story. He’s a great guy and of course an Inter supporter too, which helps. We are always looking up to him, Edoardo (Molinari), Matteo Manassero and all the guys on The European Tour and I wish them luck. It might be a good week for the Italians!”

Gary Stal is fast becoming the most promising player to emerge from the 2012 Challenge Tour season and he enters a final round in the lead for the second time this year having won in his rookie season on the Challenge Tour a month ago at the Kärnten Golf Open presented by Mazda.

He moved to the top courtesy of a second successive four under par round of 67 having made the perfect start by birdieing the opening two holes. A bogey on the fourth hole set him back but he proceeded to birdie the tenth, 14th and 17th on the way back before missing a makeable birdie putt on the 18th to miss out on the outright overnight lead.

“I'm really happy with my game at the moment,” said the 20 year old. “My game today was about the same as it was in Austria. It won’t be any easier this time after that win but I can only play my best and hopefully that will be enough.”

Mammo remains an overnight leader for the second day in a row after he signed for a two under par of 69, having led at the midway point alongside Garry Houston. The 34 year old also started with a birdie at the par four first before a bogey at the seventh meant he reached the turn in level par.

He was in danger of letting his lead slip but back to back birdies at the 14th and 15th holes kept him in the hunt as he attempts to seal a category for the rest of the 2012 Challenge Tour season, having earned an invite this week.

“I was pretty consistent today in much different conditions,” he said. “It was a lot tougher to get close to the pins today.

“It feels good going into the final day in the lead. I'm not thinking about how I'm going to finish. I just need to keep playing like I have been playing and enjoy it because these are rare chances. I have as good a chance as anybody now.”

The leading trio were two shots clear at the top, with England’s Luke Goddard and Frenchman Alexandre Kaleka tied for fourth place on eight under par following two respective rounds of 70.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1STAL, GaryFRA18-11
2KALEKA, AlexandreFRA18-11
3PERRINO, AndreaITA18-9
T4HARTØ, AndreasDEN18-8
T4MOMMO, JanneFIN18-8
6GODDARD, LukeENG18-7
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