Saturday, 17 August 2019
Thomas Pieters  (Getty Images)
Thomas Pieters (Getty Images)
A magnificent burst of scoring on the front nine propelled Thomas Pieters to the top of the leaderboard on day three of the D+D Real Czech Masters.

The big hitting Belgian, who won this event in 2015, reeled off four birdies in a row from the fourth before finishing his front nine with a sensational eagle to reach the turn in 30 and open up a one shot lead.

Halfway leader Edoardo Molinari was Pieters' nearest challenger on 15 under after making three birdies and no bogeys to keep his card clean for the week.

Spaniard Adri Arnaus was another stroke back after firing six birdies in his first 11 holes.

Pieters began the day two shots behind halfway leader Molinari but halved his deficit at the long first after narrowly missing his lengthy eagle putt.

The 2016 Ryder Cup star had to settle for a par at the second before dropping his first shot of the day at the short third.

But he made amends at the fourth, rolling in from four feet for a birdie before making another from about six feet on the next.

Pieters made it three in a row at the sixth to join Molinari on 13 under before curling in his 12 foot birdie effort at the seventh to grab the outright lead.

The 27-year-old got a lucky break at the eighth, as his tee shot clattered the trees and kicked left into the rough - and he took full advantage, sending his approach to ten feet to set up an extremely unlikely birdie chance.

He was unable to knock in his birdie putt but made up for that at the ninth, sending his second shot to within a couple of feet at the long ninth before tapping in his eagle putt to jump to 16 under par.

Molinari was unable to take advantage of the par five first, narrowly missing his birdie putt from around 15 feet after launching his tee shot into a fairway bunker.

And the Italian had to settle for another par at the second as his long birdie putt landed a couple of feet from the hole.

But he picked up his first birdie of the day at the short third after charging his quick uphill putt into the hole from range.

Molinari showed great creativity to save par after his ball landed in the second collar of rough around the fifth green.

And he closed his front nine with consecutive birdies at the eighth and ninth to move to 15 under.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1PIETERS, ThomasBEL18-19
2ARNAUS, AdriESP18-18
T3PAVAN, AndreaITA18-16
T5SCHWAB, MatthiasAUT18-14

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