Jens Dantorp will aim to follow in the footsteps of his friend Kristoffer Broberg and keep the Rolex Trophy title in Swedish hands after grabbing a share of the lead on the third day in Geneva.
Dantorp posted a flawless round of 66 at Golf de Genève to move to 16 under par alongside the in-form Portuguese José-Filipe Lima, who had signed for the same score earlier in the day.
Having turned in 34 courtesy of birdies at the 12th and 17th holes, the Swede added further gains at the first and second, where he sunk a 25-footer across the green. After picking up a further shot at the fifth hole, Dantorp holed another huge putt at the eighth for his sixth and final birdie of the day.
He said: “The only time I was in any trouble was on the third hole, where I hit a great bunker shot to get up and down for par. Other than that, I played very solid golf. I made a lot of chances so could have gone even lower, but I also holed two big putts so I can’t really complain too much.
“I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself, but of course it would be great to win after Kristoffer’s victory here last year. I travelled a lot with Kristoffer last year, so I got to know him better and it was amazing what he achieved. I don’t think I’m going to get close to his winning score [of 26 under par] – that was something special.
“Depending on the weather, I think 21 under will probably win the tournament – although 20 under may be enough. But whatever happens tomorrow, I feel like I’ve turned a corner this week, which gives me a lot of confidence for the rest of the season. I haven’t hit the ball any better but my focus has been so much better, so hopefully I can climb into top 15 of the Rankings and stay there.”
If he is to capture his debut Challenge Tour title, Dantorp will need to fend off the attentions of Lima, who has eyed another luxury timepiece to add to his watch collection.
Lima already has two Rolex watches in his 12-strong collection, but is in prime position to add a third after moving to 16 under par with a round of 66.
Both the winner of this week’s limited-field tournament and the player posting the lowest round receive a brand new watch courtesy of the sponsors, meaning Lima has two chances of winning one of the highly-prized timepieces on what promises to be an exciting finale to the elite €228,000 event.
The 31 year old, currently second in the Challenge Tour Rankings, said: “I played similar to yesterday, although the conditions were probably a bit easier. I didn’t hole that many putts, but I hit a lot of good shots so I’m really happy with the way I’m playing.
“My all-round game is just very solid at the moment, I’m probably playing the most consistent golf of my whole career. I’m making much less mistakes than I used to – of course I still hit a bad shot every now and then, but even when I do I don’t miss by that much, which makes it easier to recover. I’m also hitting the ball further with my irons and my distance control is also better now, so I feel very comfortable out on the course.
“Of course I don’t want to think too far ahead because this game can change so quickly, but if I can keep playing the way I have, I would be confident of finishing the job tomorrow. I don’t really have a target in mind – my main focus is to try to beat Daniel Gaunt’s lowest round [of 62 on the first day] so that I can win the Rolex, because I love watches.”
Spaniard Adrian Otaegui is in third place on 15 under par after shooting a round of 66 which included eight birdies. Local hero Damian Ulrich shot the lowest round of the day, a 65 to climb to fourth place on 13 under par, one shot ahead of Denmark’s Thomas Norret (69) in fifth.