Saturday, 05 November 2016
Day 3 Highlights - Turkish Airlines Open

Thorbjørn Olesen was on course to extend his European Tour winning streak to three seasons as he opened up a commanding seven-shot lead after three days of the Turkish Airlines Open.

The Dane entered Saturday at Regnum Carya Golf & Spa Resort with a six-shot lead and while that was cut to four at one point, a late birdie burst meant he signed for a 68 and was in total control at 18 under.

Olesen is searching for a fourth European Tour win and a third in as many seasons after his victories at the ISPS HANDA Perth International and the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

That 2015 victory in Scotland came after he had made just five cuts in 18 events and a win in Antalya would be another slump-buster of sorts after making just three of his last 12.

There was then a group of five players at 11 under with David Horsey, Li Haotong, David Lipsky, Matteo Manassero and Bernd Wiesberger all searching for a low one on Sunday.

"I've never had a seven-shot lead," said Olesen. "I felt a bit nervous when I went out today also because I've never been that many shots clear.

"It's a bit of a weird feeling but I know it's not easy and there's a bunch of guys there and it's possible to shoot a really low one out here.

"I'll stay aggressive tomorrow and keep plugging away.

"This is the Final Series and it's a massive event and obviously it would be great to win it.

"There's still 18 holes left and I really have to stay concentrated out there and stay in my own little zone."

This is the Final Series and it's a massive event and obviously it would be great to win it - Thorbjørn Olesen

Olesen birdied the second after getting some good fortune when his tee-shot hit tree branches on the left and ended up six feet from the hole.

When he put his first shot on the sixth close to take advantage of the second par three of the day, his lead was up to seven but the chasing pack made up some ground.

Lipsky started the day nine shots back but recorded three birdies in a row from the third and added another on the ninth to turn in 30.

The American birdied the 11th and with Olesen dropping a shot on the tenth, he cut the gap to four with the help of an excellent tee-shot on the 14th.

Olesen had looked a little shaky around the turn but an eight-footer for birdie on the 14th brought a fist-pumping celebration and a two-putt birdie on the par five next re-established his six-shot advantage.

The 26 year old had clearly rediscovered his confidence and he rolled in a 30-footer on the 16th to sit seven ahead of Horsey and Wiesberger, who both then bogeyed the last.

A dropped shot on the 16th had also dropped Lipsky into that group at 11 under and Olesen held the largest 54-hole lead of the season so far despite a closing bogey.

Lipsky and Austrian Wiesberger both signed for rounds of 66 with five birdies and a bogey, while England's Horsey, Italian Manassero and China's Li all recorded rounds of 68.

Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee was then at ten under after a 70 alongside first-round leader George Coetzee, with the South African's rollercoaster week continuing as he added a 66 to rounds of 64 and 73.

David Drysdale, Pablo Larrazábal, Joakim Lagergren and Adrian Otaegui were then all at nine under.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1OLESEN, ThorbjørnDEN18-20
T2LI, HaotongCHN18-17
T2HORSEY, DavidENG18-17
5COETZEE, GeorgeRSA18-14

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