Saturday, 04 November 2017
Day 3 highlights - Turkish Airlines Open

Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Shane Lowry will share the lead heading into the last day of the sixth Rolex Series event of the season after a dramatic third round at the Turkish Airlines Open.

Nicolas Colsaerts held a four-shot overnight lead at Regnum Carya Golf & Spa Resort and extended that to five at the turn before carding a 73 and leaving the door open for the rest of the field.

Irishman Lowry recorded a 65 to get to 14 under with Thailand's Aphibarnrat joining him after a 66 to open up a two-shot lead over Colsaerts and Major Championship winners Padraig Harrington and Justin Rose.

Colsaerts' fellow Belgian Thomas Pieters was then at 11 under after a 66.

Both of the leaders will be going in search of their fourth European Tour titles while Lowry is also looking to break into the top 60 in the Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex and earn a spot in the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai.

Rose has more lofty ambitions at third in the standings and he will be looking for a second consecutive win to close the gap on Tommy Fleetwood and edge closer to a second season as Europe's Number One.

As a tournament invite Harrington cannot make any progress in the Rankings but a 16th European Tour win would move him into a tie for 14th on the all-time list.

Colsaerts, meanwhile, is looking for a third title and a first since 2012 when he made the Ryder Cup Team for the famous Miracle at Medinah.

On a low-scoring day, Colsaerts was not keeping pace with his challengers as he turned in 32 but his four-shot overnight cushion meant he was still able to extend his lead.

The 34 year old holed a 20-footer on the fourth and got up and down from the right of the seventh green in very similar fashion to how he did on Friday to reach 16 under, five clear of Aphibarnrat, Harrington, Lowry, Pieters, Eddie Pepperell, and Matthew Southgate.

Lowry birdied the 11th to cut the gap to four before Colsaerts opened the door to the field as he put his second in the water on the same hole. That led to a double-bogey and with Lowry making it two birdies in a row and five for the day, he was just one behind.

The 30 year old had turned in 31 with a long putt on the second and tap-in birdies after brilliant iron play on the sixth and seventh.

A six-footer from Lowry on the 13th brought another birdie and from being five shots clear just two holes earlier, Colsaerts was caught. A three-putt bogey on the 12th then dropped the long-time leader to 13 under and Lowry was alone atop the leaderboard with 16 players within five shots.

Aphibarnrat had holed a long putt on the second and taken advantage of the par fives and when he put an approach to four feet on the 13th, he was within one of the lead.

The 28 year old holed from eight feet on the 16th to share top spot while Colsaerts continued to move in the other direction, dropping a shot on the 15th after finding the water.

Rose made it 52 holes without a bogey in a flawless 64 as he looks to follow up last week's brilliant win at the WGC-HSBC Champions. He turned in 31 and added further gains on the 12th and 13th before some stunning iron play made it four birdies in a row.

Birdies on the third, fifth, sixth, seventh, ninth, 12th and 13th had Irishman Harrington one off the lead and while he found water on the 15th to drop a shot, he regained it with a long putt on the 17th.

Pieters also turned in 29 but came home in level par.

Defending champion Thorbjørn Olesen, English duo Pepperell and Southgate, South African Dylan Frittelli, Scot Stephen Gallacher and Frenchman Matthieu Pavon were then at ten 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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