Saturday, 04 November 2017
Nicolas Colsaerts second round of the Turkish Airlines Open  (Getty Images)
Nicolas Colsaerts second round of the Turkish Airlines Open (Getty Images)

Nicolas Colsaerts maintained his four-shot lead early on day three of the Turkish Airlines Open but a host of big names were making their moves behind him at Regnum Carya Golf & Spa Resort.

The sixth Rolex Series event and accompanying seven million US dollar prize fund brought an elite field to Turkey and many of them were nestled inside the top ten on another low-scoring day in Turkey.

Big-hitting Belgian Colsaerts started his round with three pars to stay at 14 under, a shot clear of Eddie Pepperell, but the group at nine under were primed to make their moves.

Three-time Major Championship winner Padraig Harrington, five-time European Tour winner Joost Luiten, Ryder Cup player Stephen Gallacher and World Golf Championships winner Shane Lowry all picked up shots to sit five off the lead alongside Kiradech Aphibarnrat.

English quartet Matthew Fitzpatrick, Justin Rose, Matthew Southgate and Lee Westwood, Belgian Thomas Pieters and American Julian Suri were then at eight under.

Luiten had followed an opening 64 with a disappointing 73 on Friday but rediscovered his form in excellent fashion, birdieing the first, fourth and fifth and when he holed a 30-footer on the sixth, he was within five of the lead.

Lowry also moved into the group at nine under as he holed a monster of his own on the second.

Much like Luiten, Harrington was looking to regain lost ground after a disappointing second round and when he rolled in a putt from just off the sixth green he was three under for the day and eight under for the week.

In the final group of the day Colsaerts shaved the edge with birdie efforts on the first and second but could not extend his lead as playing partners Aphibarnrat and Pepperell also started with two pars.

Pieters made a birdie on the second and followed it with another on the third to get to eight under, with playing partner Westwood also at that mark as he too birdied the third.

Suri had started the day ten shots off the lead but he made back-to-back birdies on the seventh and eighth to add to gains on the second and third and he was in that ever expanding group in a share of sixth.

Gallacher hit a smart approach into the third to jump out of that pack and become the first member of the penultimate group to make a birdie in round three.

Harrington joined him in the group at nine under as he took advantage of the par five seventh to make it three birdies in a row while just behind him, Rose was making his move.

A win at last week's WGC-HSBC Champions moved him up to third in the Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex as he looks to chase down Tommy Fleetwood and he made three birdies in his first five holes to get to eight under.

Pepperell, Aphibarnrat, Fitzpatrick and Southgate all started their rounds with three pars.

Dylan Frittelli and Fabrizio Zanotti were seven under.

A Rolex Series Event

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1ROSE, JustinENG18-18
T2FRITTELLI, DylanRSA18-17
T2COLSAERTS, NicolasBEL18-17
4HARRINGTON, PadraigIRL18-16
5OLESEN, ThorbjørnDEN18-15
T6PEPPERELL, EddieENG18-14

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