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HNA OPEN DE FRANCE
Le Golf National, Paris, France 28 Jun 2018 - 01 Jul 2018
Sunday, 01 July 2018
Julian Suri  (Getty Images)
Julian Suri (Getty Images)

Julian Suri joined Marcus Kinhult at the top of the leaderboard as the HNA Open de France was set for a dramatic conclusion at Le Golf National.

An elite field had gathered in Paris for the third Rolex Series event of the season and a host of star names were in the chasing pack heading into the closing stages.

Swede Kinhult had entered the day with a two-shot lead and extended that to four in the early stages before a triple-bogey on the fourth saw him turn in 38 and leave the door ajar for the rest.

Suri turned in 33 and added another birdie on the tenth to join the 21 year old at eight under, a shot clear of World Number Five Jon Rahm and England's Chris Wood.

World Number Two Justin Thomas was then at six under alongside Sergio Garcia and a charging Russell Knox who had just one hole to play.

England's Matthew Southgate was then in the clubhouse at five under.

Thomas found water with his second shot on the first to drop a stroke but picked it straight back up with a nice tee-shot on the second.

Playing partner Suri played an even better tee-shot on the par three to leave himself a tap-in for birdie to get within five.

Back on the first, Garcia's Sunday challenge potentially threatened to be over before it had begun as he found the water with his first and third shots and failed to get up and down to surrender a triple-bogey.

Suri then made it back-to-back birdies on the par five third to join Rahm - who had made a par-par start - at six under but he gave a shot back on the next.

Rahm broke his run as he made the most of the third, with playing partner Garcia also picking up a shot after almost holing his bunker shot for eagle.

The 2017 Masters Tournament champion then continued his comeback from that shaky start with a lovely approach to the next.

Wood got in real trouble on the third, finding the thick rough off the tee and failing to get out of it before playing a poor chip over the back of the green for a double-bogey.

Kinhult had no such trouble, holing a six-foot birdie putt for a four-shot lead but he got in trouble of his own on the next.

He found rough off the tee, only just advanced the ball onto the fairway and then went a long way left over a cart-path, having to take a drop and eventually making a triple.

That brought a host of players back into the mix, with Southgate hitting the 14th green in two to add to birdies on the first, third, fourth, eighth and ninth.

Knox was another man on the charge, making four birdies in a row from the eighth to add to one on the fifth and also sit three off the lead.

A 15-footer on the 16th moved Southgate to six under and brought a fist-pumping celebration, with Knox soon joining him thanks to a brilliant bunker shot on the 14th.

That was one behind Garcia, however, who got back level for the day from 12 feet on the seventh to join Rahm one off the lead.

Suri was the next man to join that group and he did it in some style on the ninth, putting his second from 251 yards to three feet for a spectacular eagle.

Southgate dropped a shot on the 17th after failing to find the green and he was joined at five under by Thomas who birdied the ninth.

The American pair were flying and after Thomas made it back-to-back gains on the tenth, Suri followed him in from four feet to share the lead.

The rough has been causing trouble all week and Garcia fell victim on the ninth, needing two attempts to get out and falling to six under.

Wood got on the ninth green in two for a first birdie of the day to get within one of the lead, with playing partner Kinhult making a smart par after finding the hay.

Swedish pair Alexander Björk and Alex Noren were alongside Southgate at five under on the course.

A Rolex Series Event

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1NOREN, AlexSWE18-7
T2KNOX, RussellSCO18-6
T2SURI, JulianUSA18-6
T2WOOD, ChrisENG18-6
T5SOUTHGATE, MatthewENG18-5
T5RAHM, JonESP18-5

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