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Reitan breezes to the top in Kells

Reitan breezes to the top in Kells

Kristoffer Reitan will take a one-shot lead into the final round of the Irish Challenge after battling through blustery conditions on day three at Headfort Golf Club.

Kristoffer Reitan

The Norwegian started the day two shots off the lead but posted a three under par round of 68 to move to the top of the leaderboard on ten under, one ahead of American Jordan Gumberg in second place.

The 25-year-old, who became the first Norwegian to play in the U.S. Open in 2018, was pleased with how he was able to adapt his game in the wind after carding five birdies during the third round.

“It was so difficult out there,” he said. “It was very windy and the rain came in at one point too. I managed to keep the ball in play and get it on the green and luckily I holed some putts too. I’m very happy with the way I played today.

“It was exhausting at points but I managed to fight through and I’m happy with the way I dealt with the conditions.

“I hit a really poor chip shot right before I holed the next one at the sixth hole. It’s one of those clips you see on television and that has never happened to me before so I’m very happy it worked out today.”

Reitan has struggled to find consistency so far on the 2023 Road to Mallorca, making only three cuts in 14 appearances, but is relishing the chance to close out a maiden European Challenge Tour victory tomorrow in Kells.

“I’m going to keep focused because there’s a full round of golf to go and I’ve got a lot of work to do,” he said. “I’m working a lot on my game and there’s a long way to go in this tournament.

“I’m going to keep playing like I did today. There’s 18 holes to go and if I keep taking it shot by shot and executing those shots then hopefully that will be enough come the end of the day.”

Scotland’s Ryan Lumsden and English duo Sam Bairstow and Brandon Robinson Thompson share third place on eight under par, while Denmark’s Nicolai Kristensen is a shot further back in sixth.

Overnight co-leader Conor Purcell shares seventh place with Italian Lorenzo Scalise, Swede Adam Blommé, Northern Irishman Jonathan Caldwell and Frenchman Frederic Lacroix on six under par.

The final round will begin at 8:00am local time, with Reitan teeing it up in the final group alongside Gumberg and Lumsden at 9:50am.

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