Morten Ørum Madsen’s outstanding seven under par round of 64 earned him a share of the lead with 18 holes remaining at Le Vaudreuil Golf Challenge, with Aaron Rai alongside him on 13 under par after Day Three.
Madsen, a winner on the European Tour only three years ago, rediscovered his form at Golf PGA France du Vaudreuil, turning in 29 and closing with a birdie after a couple of dropped shots on the back nine.
The Dane will be in the final pair tomorrow and was pleased to see some overdue reward for his patience and hard work during what has been a testing period of his career after losing his European Tour card at the end of last season.
“All of a sudden it was easy,” said the 29 year old. “On the front nine I played really well, made some putts finally, and it was special, and I continued it on the back nine before a few wayward shots.
“I’m really happy though, today I finally did what I haven’t been able to do for a long time – play well on Saturday and make some putts.
“It’s been a bit of a struggle lately and I’m just really pleased, not just for myself but for the other people who are behind me and who believe in me, that I finally have something to show for it.
“I’ve been working really hard and I’ve had some tough times, I’m not going to lie, but it’s nice to be up there – it’s a tight leaderboard and I haven’t been in this position for a while, so I’ll try to focus on myself because there are a lot of great players in contention.”
Meanwhile, Rai showed his first signs of fragility in admittedly tough conditions, dropping his first shots of the week before finishing with two birdies in his final three holes to regain a share of top spot.
The Englishman is chasing a career-changing third win of the season tomorrow, with immediate European Tour promotion a consequence of that achievement, but he remained typically level-headed after his third round of 69.
“It wasn’t quite as good overall compared to the last couple of days,” said the 22 year old. “I didn’t hit quite as many greens or give myself quite as many chances, but you’re always going to have a day like that in most tournaments.
“I think I’ll have to approach tomorrow with the same strategy I’ve had all week – there are times where, if you’ve got the lead by a few shots, you might choose to be a bit more conservative, but I think it always remains within a certain framework.
“This course probably epitomises that in terms of strategy – there are certain holes where you just want to get off with a par, or maybe give yourself a chance of birdie, but then there are holes where you can be a bit more aggressive and you can choose your moments to do so.
“I think the winning experience certainly helps, to be able to draw on having been in that position in the past, but you’ve still got to do what’s required, and it by no means does it necessarily mean I’m going to deliver tomorrow, it just puts me in a slightly better frame of mind I hope.”
Mark Tullo at one point led by three shots but faltered slightly coming home to take a share of third place, alongside Ryan Evans and Borja Virto on 11 under par, two shots behind the leaders.
Christopher Mivis’ fine season continued as he moved to ten under par, while Oliver Lindell and leading Frenchman Mathieu Fenasse are one shot further back in a tie for seventh place.