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Callum Shinkwin edges ahead of Julien Guerrier at the summit

Callum Shinkwin edges ahead of Julien Guerrier at the summit

Callum Shinkwin continued his love affair with The Celtic Manor Resort as he fired a superb 65 on Saturday to open up a one-shot lead at the top of the Cazoo Open supported by Gareth Bale leaderboard.


Shinkwin started the day two shots behind halfway leader Julien Guerrier and trailed the Frenchman by three at the turn after a front-nine 34 which contained three birdies and a single bogey.

But the Englishman added four birdies and no bogeys on the back nine to hit the front, finishing his round off with a tap-in birdie at the 18th after producing a shot-of-the-day contender from the end of the fairway.

This week's host venue has been a happy hunting ground for Shinkwin in recent seasons, finishing fourth and joint-eighth in his last two outings there.

His 11-under-par total sees him head into the final round a single stroke ahead of Guerrier, who notched four birdies and a solitary bogey in his 68.

The top two put clear daylight between themselves and the chasing pack on Moving Day, with Connor Syme their nearest challenger on five under par - five shots behind second-placed Guerrier.

Shinkwin opened his third round with a stunning birdie from 25 feet, but with playing partner Guerrier also picking up a shot at the first, he remained two off the lead.

Guerrier had stretched his lead to three shots by the time Shinkwin got his next birdie at the seventh, holing from 21 feet to break a long run of pars.

After bogeying the eighth, Shinkwin bounced back with a birdie from ten feet on the ninth to sit three shots back at the turn.

The 29-year-old came agonisingly close to getting an eagle at the long 11th but his 25-foot putt lipped out and he had to settle for a birdie.

Having sent his tee-shot at the par-three 13th to 18 feet, Shinkwin knocked in the birdie putt to reduce the gap at the top of the leaderboard to one.

In fact, Guerrier had done well to avoid a two-shot swing there, as he made a tremendous up-and-down from a greenside bunker for par to hold on to the outright lead.

Shinkwin joined Guerrier at the summit on ten under par courtesy of a stunning chip and a five-foot birdie putt at the 15th, having got out of position off the tee.

Guerrier had reached the green in one at the same hole but could only manage a three-putt par.

Shinkwin produced a sensational par save from eight feet at the 16th, and with Guerrier unable to make his par, the Englishman found himself alone at the top.

After missing a good birdie chance at the 17th, Shinkwin made amends with a magnificent birdie at the last to get to 11 under and lead by one.

He said: "I’m delighted, 65 was a really good score today. I’m playing really well and didn’t make any mistakes and I’ve come out of it with the lead.

"The game has been very good for a long time but it was just a matter of clicking into place. It felt like it was great three months ago but the results weren’t there.

"Recently I’ve been playing really nicely and had a few pretty good results but not capitalising on how I’m playing.

"The last couple of weeks I’ve been capitalising on it and holing a few putts and not making too many mistakes.

"I never really paid any attention to what Julien was doing, although he was playing really well, I just tried to make sure I played my own ball and my own game, and whatever I shot, I shot and that’s what I did and towards the end I took the lead.

"It would mean everything to win, a win any time anywhere is fantastic and to do it while I’m playing really well would be great."

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