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Celli shows fight to claim Cádiz lead

Celli shows fight to claim Cádiz lead

Filippo Celli posted a four under par round of 68 to take a one-stroke lead into the final round of the Andalucía Challenge de Cádiz at Iberostar Real Golf Novo Sancti Petri.

Filippo Celli

The Italian led for the majority of the third round, before dropping his second shot of the day at the par four 17th but responded with a sublime closing birdie to reach 15 under par, one clear of overnight leader Sam Hutsby and French amateur Martin Couvra who share second place.

The 22-year-old was delighted with the way he bounced back from the two blemishes on his card and is feeling confident ahead of the final round in Cádiz.

“I played really solid again today,” he said. “I made a couple of bogeys but that is golf, and I was able to bounce back. My ball striking was very good and I’m happy because I’m back in contention again. Tomorrow is going to be very fun and there a lot of players chasing me.

“My aim was to focus on my own game and play well today. That’s what I did and now I need to concentrate again tomorrow. I made a bogey on 17 but on 18 I hit a really good seven-iron to one metre. It was a great birdie.”

Celli won the Silver Medal at The 150th Open Championship at St Andrews last year and he is now looking to become the third consecutive Italian winner on the Challenge Tour, following four-time DP World Tour winner Matteo Manassero and 2013 Challenge Tour Number One Andrea Pavan’s recent triumphs.

“I’m very excited for tomorrow because I am in contention at the top of the leaderboard again,” he said.

“I’m going to give it my all and hopefully I get the result that I want. I can’t wait to get on the course and I will just focus on each individual shot with a good strategy.”

Spaniard Manuel Elvira posted a brilliant seven under par round of 65 to move into fourth place on 13 under, while Denmark’s Nicolai Kristensen is one shot behind in fifth.

England’s Ben Schmidt sits in sixth place alongside Dane Hamish Brown and Frenchman Clément Berardo on 11 under par, while Englishman Jamie Rutherford, South African Keenan Davidse and Swede Jesper Svensson are a shot further back in ninth.

The final round will get under way at 8:15am local time, with Celli teeing it up in the final group alongside Couvra and Hutsby at 10:15am.

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