Slattery in front but Dubois hot on his heels

5/29/2010 3:58:16 PM
Lee Slattery  (Getty Images)
Lee Slattery (Getty Images)

Englishman Lee Slattery remained in front after round three of the Telenet Trophy but a stunning nine under par 63 by Frenchman Edouard Dubois prevented him from having a greater advantage.

Slattery leads by two shots heading into the final round at Rinkven Golf Club after carding a four under par 68 to reach 16 under for the tournament. He led by six shots at one point during the round, but Dubois reeled him in with six birdies on the back nine to beat the course record Slattery set on day one.

Alex Kaleka, also of France, carded a three under par 69 to stay in touch with the top of the leaderboard at 12 under, and Simon Wakefield had another impressive round, a 65 taking him to 11 under alongside English compatriot Matt Haines.

Slattery, frustrated to have finished the second round with a bogey at the last, exacted his revenge by birdieing the same hole today.

“That was a much better way to finish,” said the 31 year old Southport player. “I felt very comfortable out there again and was happy with how I played. I had an eagle at the seventh when I holed my third shot, a wedge from 95 yards, and I was two inches away from a hole in one on the par three third as well.

“Tomorrow I will just try and be very relaxed and stick to my routine. Probably I was at my edgiest today when I saw how far in front I’d got. But the others cut that lead down – that’s a great score from Edouard, and Alex, who was in my group today, is a great player too. The French will definitely be keeping me on my toes tomorrow.”

Dubois, 21, did not know he had set the course record with his nine birdies, and was delighted to be in contention for the first time in a Challenge Tour event.

“I don’t know what happened on the back nine,” said the Challenge Tour rookie. “I just got on a roll with six birdies. It’s a little more stressful being in this position but tomorrow I’ll try not to think about the result.

“I won once on the Alps Tour so hopefully I can use that experience to help me tomorrow.”

Wakefield may be five shots off Slattery’s lead but having posted rounds of 64 and 65 in the last two days, he could pose a serious threat.

“It’s really good to be in this position on a Saturday instead of coming off the course feeling frustrated,” he said. “I’ve been playing really well the last three or four weeks. I just feel very in control of my shots, I know where I want to hit it and it’s going there. And I’m putting well too.

“The eagle on the 14th I hit a four iron to 18 inches, and the bogey was a little disappointing because I hit my second shot from the semi-rough with a wedge and it went out the back of the green. That’s the problem with these new grooves on the wedges – it can go anywhere.”

Challenge Tour Rankings leader Robert Dinwiddie carded a level par 72 to stay at six under overall, while defending champion Francois Calmels struggled to a two over par 74 to slip back to one under.