Saturday, 12 May 2018
Andrea Pavan  (Getty Images)
Andrea Pavan (Getty Images)

Local favourite Andrea Pavan began round three of the Rocco Forte Sicilian Open with five birdies to surge to the top of the leaderboard at Verdura Golf Club.

The 29 year old started the day five shots off the lead but some brilliant approach play and putting saw him join co-overnight leader Julien Guerrier in top spot.

The Frenchman began his round with three pars to sit a shot ahead of countryman Mike Lorenzo-Vera, English duo Steven Brown and Ryan Evans, and Dane Lucas Bjerregaard, with Swede Joakim Lagergren at seven under.

Austin Connelly and Jeff Winther both carded early rounds of 65 to show that lower scoring would be possible in calmer winds than on days one and two, and it was Pavan who continued that trend once those near the top of the leaderboard got under way.

The Qualifying School graduate holed a ten-footer on the first and took advantage of the par five second before holing lengthy putts on the third and fourth for a four-birdie start and a share of second.

Lorenzo-Vera was also there after making the most of the second, with Lagergren birdieing the second and third.

He was soon joined by Bjerregaard, who lost his ball in the left rough off the tee on the first and surrendered an opening double-bogey.

His second on the second was equally wayward but the Portugal Masters champion managed to save par, with Guerrier missing a good chance to extend his now solo lead to two shots.

Bjerregaard got back to eight under with an approach to tap-in range on the third but that could not keep pace with Pavan, who holed an eight-footer on the fifth to share the lead.

Evans and Brown both started their rounds with three pars.

Mark Tullo and Andy Sullivan were at six under, with Jacques Kruyswijk and Steve Webster a further shot back.

Earlier, Pontus Widegren made the 15th hole-in-one of the season as the Swede holed a six iron from 167 yards on the 15th.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1LAGERGREN, JoakimSWE18-16
T3HERBERT, LucasAUS18-15
6GUERRIER, JulienFRA18-13

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