Joost Luiten has a place in the US Open Championship in his sights as he enters the final round of the Lyoness Open powered by Sporthilfe Cashback Card just three shots off the lead.
The four-time European Tour winner posted a 68 which included six birdies and two bogeys on Saturday to lie in a share of fifth place at Diamond Country Club, where South African Zander Lombard leads on 11 under par.
The Dutchman started his third round brightly, making a birdie at the first hole for the third day in a row.
He dropped a shot at the par five fourth but made amends shortly after, with gains at the sixth, eighth and ninth taking him to the turn in 33.
The 30 year old added another birdie at the 12th but dropped a shot at the next before safely parring the following four holes.
Luiten, who requires at least a third place finish to stand any chance of playing at the US Open Championship next week, finished the day in style, holing a long-range putt at the 18th to card his 200th birdie of the season and move to eight under par in the process.
“It was a left to right at the start and it came back nicely from right to left at the end and it had just enough speed to drop in the hole so that was a nice bonus," said Luiten of his final putt.
“The first hole is a short par five and you need to make birdie there, luckily I did although unfortunately I made a bogey at the next par five – the fourth – but I came back strong after that mistake and that got me back into a nice position for the last day.
“That’s all that matters – being in contention - Joost Luiten
"I made mistakes but I managed to stay calm, create a few birdie opportunities and take them and tomorrow is a new day.
"The last day is always the toughest but hopefully I can put some pressure on the leaders.”