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Sunday, 13 May 2018
Joakim Lagergren  (Getty Images)
Joakim Lagergren (Getty Images)

Joakim Lagergren took a two-shot lead into the back nine as the final round of the Rocco Forte Sicilian Open moved towards its conclusion at Verudra Golf Club.

The Swede had entered the day two shots behind overnight leader Mike Lorenzo-Vera but while the Frenchman turned in level par 36, Lagergren made four birdies on the front nine to get to 17 under.

European Tour winners Lucas Bjerregaard and Andy Sullivan were then at 13 under, two shots clear of local favourite Andrea Pavan and Australian Lucas Herbert.

Lagergren is a three-time Qualifying School graduate with a win on the Challenge Tour in 2014 but he is still seeking a first European Tour victory.

He finished second in Qatar last season after a play-off for his best European Tour result and arrives in decent form after a recent tie for third at the Trophée Hassan II.

The two-ball of Lorenzo-Vera and Lagergren made 17 birdies and a single bogey between them on Saturday as they both shot rounds of 63 and they were quickly at it again.

Lagergren holed a brilliant 30-footer for his opening birdie, with Lorenzo-Vera taking advantage of a lovely approach to six feet.

Lorenzo-Vera gave the shot straight back on the second to see his lead cut to one, with Bjerregaard recovering from a bogey on the first with a nice birdie from ten feet on the fourth.

The chasing pack were jostling for position but a string of pars from the leaders kept them at arms length before Lagergren holed another long putt on the difficult sixth to take a share of top spot.

The 26 year old then hit the front on his own with a tee-shot to 12 feet on the par three seventh setting up a third birdie of the day.

Sullivan birdied the third but, after a poor second on the sixth, he did very well to drop just a single shot and that appeared to spur him on.

The 30 year old holed a long putt on the seventh and a six-footer on the eighth, and when he put a stunning second to six feet for an eagle on the ninth, he was just three off the lead.

Bjerregaard birdied the par five to join Sullivan at 13 under and it looked like the back nine may not be the two-horse race it had threatened to become.

Lagergren then made a two-putt birdie of his own on the same hole and he led by two at the turn.

Herbert made three birdies in a row from the eighth to be four under for the day, while Pavan was two under for his round having also played ten holes.

Steven Brown and Julien Guerrier were at ten under, a shot clear of home duo Edoardo Molinari and Francesco Laporta.

Simon Khan made the 16th hole-in-one of the season and the second in as many days on the 15th when he holed a seven iron from 182 yards.

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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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