Saturday, 03 October 2015
Thorbjørn Olesen  (Getty Images)
Thorbjørn Olesen (Getty Images)

Thorbjørn Olesen takes a commanding three shot lead into the final round of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship after posting a seven under par 65 on Saturday.

The two time European Tour winner took advantage of ideal conditions at St Andrews, firing eight birdies and a solitary bogey to move to 17 under par.

Germany's Florian Fritsch is three strokes further back on 14 under after notching six birdies and an eagle at Kingsbarns.

Olesen, who began his third round on ten under, dropped a shot at the first hole but bounced back with gains on the third, fourth, seventh and eighth to cover the front nine in 33.

After saving par from four feet at the 13th, the Dane rolled in his seven foot birdie putt at the next to climb to 14 under par.

The 25 year old then made further gains at the 15th and 16th before holing his 20 foot birdie putt the last to head into the final round on 17 under.

Olesen was happy with his day's work. He said: "It was a great day. I started off badly by hitting it in the water on the first but I got over it and played some good golf out there. 

"My putter started to get very hot out there and I holed a lot of great putts. So yeah, it was good fun.

"To be honest it's been very tough this season with an injury, also, and playing some bad golf. But I've been finding my way and just practising hard and just hoping for it to come along at some point.

"There have been some good rounds, but I just haven't been able to really do it for all four rounds. But yeah, hopefully I can do it this week. It's definitely nice to be up there on the leaderboard.

"We will see how the weather is tomorrow but if it's the same, there's definitely going to be a lot of birdies. I'll just have to try to keep up and go out there and hopefully find a few birdies.

"It's always difficult to go into the last day with a lead. It's definitely a nice position to be in, and you know you can shoot a good score around this golf course if the weather is nice.

"It's definitely not going to be easy but I'm going to go out there tomorrow and try my best."

Fritsch, starting at the tenth tee, picked up shots at the 12th and 17th on his way to reaching the turn in 34.

The 29 year old then caught fire on his back nine, following up an eagle at the third with three birdies in his next four holes.

Fritsch then holed his six foot birdie putt at the ninth, his last, to complete a bogey free third round of 64.

After picking up six shots in his last seven holes, Fritsch said: "At the beginning I was probably a bit more worried about maybe making the cut because this is a very big tournament, especially for me with the money that can be won and the position that I'm in, so this is definitely something that was kind of important to me.

"A couple of choices were made due to that situation over what I would probably usually do but that's what tournament golf does to you at times. I got more and more comfortable towards the end.

"On the back nine I felt like I had a little bit more control. The golf course is very open. You can't really lose a ball and that is definitely something that I enjoy and I guess most golfers like. It loosens you up despite the situation. I hit a couple of good putts and ended up rolling in a few birdies and an eagle. That was a little extra."

Frenchman Benjamin Hebert finished day three on 13 under after mixing six birdies with a single bogey at Carnoustie.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat is among the group another shot further back on 12 under after carding eight birdies and two bogeys at St Andrews, alongside young Swede Joakim Lagergren, who fired an eagle and eight birdies in a flawless 62 at Kingsbarns.

Meanwhile Jimmy Mullen, who held a share of the halfway lead, could only manage a two over par 74 at Carnoustie to fall to nine under.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1OLESEN, ThorbjørnDEN18 R4-18
T2KOEPKA, BrooksUSA18 R4-16
T2STROUD, ChrisUSA18 R4-16
T4WOOD, ChrisENG18 R4-15
T4WIESBERGER, BerndAUT18 R4-15
T4LAGERGREN, JoakimSWE18 R4-15

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