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Green sneaks in on dramatic third day in Cyprus

Green sneaks in on dramatic third day in Cyprus

Matthew Jordan and Johannes Veerman carded rounds of 64 to finish top of the leaderboard after the Saturday shootout at the 2020 Aphrodite Hills Cyprus Showdown but Gavin Green will take the momentum into day four after a big finish sealed his place for the final 18 holes.

Gavin Green

We started the week with 105 players and that was reduced to 32 when the second round was completed on Saturday morning, before round three saw the final field trimmed to 19, with the scores reset to par for the Sunday showdown.

While Jordan and Veerman were comfortable in the clubhouse at seven under, Jorge Campillo and Thomas Detry were left sweating four shots back in a tie for 16th as the final group of Green and Richard Bland came up the last.

A birdie or better for Bland would push the Belgian and the Spaniard out of the top 16, while if he were to par and Malaysian Green make an eagle on the par five, the Englishman would also be heading home.

Bland found sand off the tee at the last but managed to save his par and, with Green hitting an incredible second from the rough and making a two putt birdie, both men advanced alongside Campillo and Detry at three under.

Green's chances had looked gone when he bogeyed the 16th but he put his tee shot to five feet at the par three 17th for a birdie before that final gain handed him a 68.

"It feels amazing," he said.

"A great shot on 17 and again a great shot on 18 but you kind of had to do it, it's either do or die pretty much. I just went at it."

Earlier, Campillo had also needed a birdie on the last after carding a course record 62 in round two and he did it the hard way, just clearing the water and getting down in two, while Detry had parred the final hole.

At the other end of the leaderboard, Welshman Jamie Donaldson and German Bernd Ritthammer finished a shot behind Jordan and Veerman, one clear of English trio Marcus Armitage, James Morrison and Callum Shinkwin, South African Louis de Jager, Japan's Masahiro Kawamura, Swede Niklas Lemke and Frenchman Alexander Levy.

England's Steven Brown, Northern Ireland's Jonathan Caldwell, Scot Robert MacIntyre and Finn Sami Välimäki finished round three at four under.

You kind of had to do it, it's either do or die pretty much. I just went at it - Gavin Green

Veerman got off to a flying start with birdies on the first, third, fifth and sixth before making the most of the par five tenth and making an eagle at the last from 20 feet.

"Once you start off like that, you don't coast, but you can almost put it in autopilot," he said. "All the boxes are checked, you're hitting it well, you're putting well, just keep it rolling.

"This format is great because if you can make it through to the final day, which is what our goal was, then you have a chance to win. That was the first step. Now it's just a race to the finish, it's exciting."

Jordan had made the third round on the bubble at six under and bogeyed the third but then never looked back, making a gain on the fifth, eagling the par five sixth, and making further birdies on the eighth, ninth, tenth, 14th and 17th.

"It was a lot more stress free," he said. "It was weird, the last two holes it was quite nice, you can enjoy it a bit. I certainly prefer to do it that way than yesterday.

"I’m just happy to be through. No one will have been on the greens and there’s only around 20 guys so there’s hardly going to be much traffic on them, so I just want to shoot a score and it doesn’t bother me where I finished at the end of today or when I go out tomorrow."

After finishing third over this layout last week at the Cyprus Open, Donaldson will be full of confidence and made an eagle, a double bogey and six birdies in round three, with Ritthammer dropping a single shot in his second consecutive 65.

Levy bookended his back nine with a pair of eagles, while last week's winner Shinkwin got on a roll around the turn, making six birdies in seven holes from the sixth.

Brown picked up four shots in his last five holes after eagling the driveable par four 14th, while Välimäki came home in 30 with the help of a hat-trick of birdies from the 13th.

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