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Saturday, 12 May 2018
Joakim Lagergren  (Getty Images)
Joakim Lagergren (Getty Images)

Joakim Lagergren made five birdies in a row around the turn to join the lead during a low-scoring third round of the Rocco Forte Sicilian Open.

The Swede began the day four shots off top spot at Verdura Golf Club but seven gains in his first ten holes moved him to 12 under alongside Frenchman Julien Guerrier.

Guerrier had entered the day in a share of the lead and he remained the only player in the field bogey-free as he turned in 33.

Dane Lucas Bjerregaard was at 11 under, a shot ahead of France's Mike Lorenzo-Vera and two clear of Englishman Ryan Evans.

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 local favourite Andrea Pavan who continued that trend once those near the top of the leaderboard got under way.

The two-time Challenge Tour and 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 to sit at seven under.

He was soon joined there by Bjerregaard, who lost his ball in the left rough off the tee on the first and surrendered an opening double-bogey, but he bounced back with an approach to tap-in range on the third.

That could not keep pace with Pavan, however, who holed an eight-footer on the fifth to share the lead.

Evans birdied the fourth to make it a three-way tie at the top but Guerrier jumped back ahead on the same hole as he made a 15-footer.

A ten-foot putt from Bjerregaard on the fifth put him back within one and that group soon swelled to five as Lagergren hit a stunning approach to the sixth and holed an 18-footer on the seventh, with Lorenzo-Vera following him in.

Lagergren then made it three in a row from six feet on the eighth and he led on his own as he took advantage of the par five next, with Lorenzo-Vera once again following him in to get to double figures.

Pavan dropped a first shot of the day on the tenth after going over the back of the green and he was joined at eight under by England's Andy Sullivan who hit a stunning tee-shot on the par three 13th to add to birdies on the second, fourth, seventh and 12th.

They were soon four off the lead, however, as Lagergren made a ten-footer on the tenth to get to 12 under.

Bjerregaard put his second on the ninth to 12 feet to set up an eagle that moved him to within one of the lead but he was almost instantly leapfrogged by Guerrier who followed him in for an eagle of his own.

Lucas Herbert and Francesco Laporta were at seven under, a shot clear of Steven Brown and Mikko Korhonen.

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
2LORENZO-VERA, MikeFRA18-16
T3HERBERT, LucasAUS18-15
T3SULLIVAN, AndyENG18-15
5BJERREGAARD, LucasDEN18-14
6GUERRIER, JulienFRA18-13

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