The Cadillac Russian Open is set up for a fascinating final round, with eight players within four shots of leader Mikael Lundberg of Sweden with 18 holes to play at Le Meridien Moscow Country Club.
Lundberg posted a third round 69 to move to 12 under par 204 and leapfrog his fellow countryman Fredrik Widmark at the head of the field, while Frenchman Sebastien Delagrange made a powerful move to join Widmark on 11 under in second place after a brilliant 66.
Scotland’s Peter Whiteford is just one shot further back, while Jesus Maria Arruti of Spain and Englishmen Andrew Butterfield and Ben Mason moved into contention on nine under par – closely followed by Bertrand Cornut of France and Australian Jarrod Moseley, who share eighth place on eight under.
Lundberg, who celebrated his 32nd birthday today, is determined to fend of the challenge from the chasing pack. The last time the Swede was in a winning position after the third round of a European Tour event was four years ago at the Smurfit European Open where he endured a nightmare final round and eventually posted an 80 to fall back to 34th place.
But the man from Helsingborg is an older, wiser and tougher competitor now, and is sure he can finish the job in Russia to secure a maiden European Tour victory.
“My score was good today, but the game wasn’t too good,” said Lundberg. “I made a bit of a rocky start today and I could get the feel of it but it got better and better and by the end of the round it felt alright.
“Fredrik Widmark and I actually played quite similarly to each other today. I guess we were not as relaxed as we should have been. I think it’s going to better for tomorrow – we have both played like that today but we are used to being in this position now so I think we will both play better tomorrow.
“The last time I was in this position was four years ago at the European Open at the K Club and I finished terribly. I don’t think that matters anymore. There were a lot of things that caused me to play badly that day – it wasn’t just down to me, so I don’t really look back on it badly. That was the first time that I had been in that position and it was a bigger event than this. I learned a lot from it and it gets better and better.
“I’m looking forward to tomorrow. There is no better feeling in the world than when you are up there on the leaderboard. I have that great feeling of excitement. Everybody here wants to be in the position I am in now. It’s the best, and that is why we all play the game.”