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Sunday, 25 August 2019
Erik van Rooyen  (Getty Images)
Erik van Rooyen (Getty Images)

Erik van Rooyen extended his lead to two shots heading into the final nine holes of the Scandinavian Invitation but he had two serial European Tour winners breathing down his neck at Hills Golf & Sports Club.

The South African is looking for his maiden European Tour win in Sweden and turned in 32 to get to 17 under but nearest rival Matthew Fitzpatrick is a five time winner having claimed a victory in each of his four full seasons since coming through the Qualifying School.

Home favourite Henrik Stenson was at 14 under as he looks to add his 11 wins which include an Open Championship, and he delighted the huge home crowds by making a hole-in-one on the sixth in his first 12 holes.

Another Swede in Sebastian Soderberg was the clubhouse leader at 13 under as a thrilling three horse race developed on the outskirts of Gothenburg.

It had been a low scoring week and Sam Horsfield continued that trend as he made sure there had been a 62 in every round.

The 22-year-old finished in a tie for third at last week's D+D Real Czech Masters and he ensured himself another good result with birdies on the third, fifth, eighth, 12th, 13th, 15th, 16th and 17th moving him to 12 under.

When the later groups got under way, Stenson took advantage of the par five third and then produced maybe the highlight of the week with his one bounce ace at the sixth sending the crowd wild and moving him into a share of the lead.

His seven iron from 185 yards was the 24th ace of the season and second of the week after Adam Bland at the tenth on Thursday.

Fitzpatrick made the most of the third from six feet to make it a three way tie but Van Rooyen also claimed his birdie, getting up and down with a 15 footer to hold the lead on his own again.

A stunning approach to two feet at the fourth from Fitzpatrick made it a tie once more but Van Rooyen holed a monster putt from the fringe on the fifth to edge himself back ahead.

Stenson then made a smart up-and-down on the par five eighth to get within one as he turned in 32.

Soderberg made his charge through the field as he came home in 29, making birdies on the third, fifth, sixth, tenth, 11th, 13th, 16th and 17th to go with a bogey on the ninth.

Fitzpatrick made an excellent up-and-down for par after finding a horrible lie on the eighth but he was two back when Van Rooyen hit the eighth green in two and made a birdie.

An excellent approach from Fitzpatrick set up a birdie of his own at the ninth and the 24-year-old started his back nine just one off the lead.

But Van Rooyen was not in the mood to be caught and he put his own approach to eight feet to re-establish his cushion.

Joakim Lagergren and Matthieu Pavon were in the clubhouse at 12 under alongside Horsfield.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1VAN ROOYEN, ErikRSA18-19
2FITZPATRICK, MatthewENG18-18
T3STENSON, HenrikSWE18-14
T3BURMESTER, DeanRSA18-14
T5SODERBERG, SebastianSWE18-13
T5KIM, SihwanUSA18-13

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