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Italian Open presented by Regione Emilia-Romagna - What the leaders said

Italian Open presented by Regione Emilia-Romagna - What the leaders said

Sebastian Friedrichsen, Antoine Rozner, Shubhankar Sharma and Marcel Siem all shared the lead at ten under after 54 holes of the the Italian Open presented by Regione Emilia-Romagna.

With 26 players within four shots of top spot, we are set for Sunday shootout in Ravenna and here is what the four men to catch had to say after their third rounds.

Antoine Rozner (62)

"Out of all the birdies I’ve made this week so far, the one on 18 yesterday was huge. I bogeyed 17 to be out of the cut line and I had no other choice but to hit the pin, make the putt and that’s what I did. I got back this morning with the mindset of having nothing to lose. The conditions were lovely, the greens were pure. I took advantage of it, it was an amazing day. In my game it was just holing putts. I struggled a little bit on the greens during the first two days. Today, I was just rolling it very nicely. It was really nice. I trusted myself a bit more on the reads and committed a little bit more to my lines, that was a big difference to the mindset and hopefully I can bring that in tomorrow. (On 15) I hit my drive into the trees but luckily I had a perfect line through the trees to the green and I hit it to two metres. Tom (McKibbin) hit the same tee-shot but was at the bottom of a tree and couldn’t play. This is golf, that’s why we love this game and sometimes we hate it. Today it turned out my way, so I’m really happy. I love Italy. I’ve played here on the Alps Tour, on the Challenge Tour, lots of good memories here and hopefully I can keep going tomorrow. I need a little bit of time. I never thought I’d be in this position after being one under after two rounds. I’ll be ready tomorrow and hopefully I can come back with the same mindset and shoot a low score."

Marcel Siem (66)

"I’m really, really happy. It comes earlier than I expected to play that good golf. My plan was to build up for The Open. But I’m super happy. Consistent golf and the bounce-backs were really important. I really enjoy this golf course. It’s very tricky and you have to fiddle around all the time. (On 18) I know that it’s kicking from left to right, I knew that from yesterday. The wind was supposed to come out of the left and usually when you hit it out of the rough, a straight shot falls to the right as well because you don’t have that much backspin on it. So I was hoping the wind would push it to the right, but it didn’t. I think it was a lucky bounce. I missed that putt on 16 so it evened it out a little bit. It's a lot of work you have to put in. I’m not getting younger. I have a great team around me. My family is really standing behind me as well. (Hip surgery) was a bit of a roller coaster. First you go under the knife and you don’t know what’s going to happen, there’s always a little bit of a risk. The first two weeks felt easy-peasy. Week four I thought it was going to take forever. Then I came back out in Belgium and played like I was 80 years old. My clubhead speed was 110-111. But people around me were saying it’s all good, there’s a degeneration of muscles. It’s Paul (Gotte’s) first week out with me again. He helped me through Covid, Challenge Tour, getting my card back, and I’m really happy he’s back on my side. We are working really hard on FaceTime in Mauritius and stuff. It’s crazy that I’m standing here right now talking to you guys. I’m enjoying it so much."

Shubhankar Sharma (67)

"It was a very bunched up leaderboard at that time (on 15). At that time, my head was frying. It was a long round, really, really hot, but slightly overcast now, which is good. But that birdie on 15 was great, especially after I probably hit the worst shot of the day with the second shot and followed it up with the best shot of the day to birdie it. Fourteen was just a bonus. It was one of those uphill putts. All those putts have been really slow this week for some reason and even today, like on the ninth, I had a similar putt where I thought I hit it great but it was five feet short. I didn’t want to leave it short, hit it a bit much, thankfully it hit the pin and stayed in. It would have probably gone six feet past, but it was a good birdie at that time. I’m very confident. I like the course. I’ve been playing well, sticking to my routines. It’s still a bunched up leaderboard, a lot of players in with a chance. Obviously, I want to win. I’ll give it my all tomorrow. I want to concentrate on the process that has gotten me here up until now and do the same tomorrow. The rest should take care of itself."

Sebastian Friedrichsen (68)

"It’s always nice to finish with a birdie. Dinner always tastes a little better, so it’s nice. It’s difficult to find (a highlight so far). I love competing. That’s why I practise all the hours I practise. I’m just trying to embrace it and enjoy it. I’ll try to stay as calm as possible. It’s all those hours of practice that makes days like tomorrow fun. I’ll really just try to enjoy it and see how it goes. I’m just really trying at this point in my career to be a better player each day and to try and stay in the process. It’s difficult at times, but that’s what I’ll try and do. If I’m playing a tournament at this level or even if it was a little amateur tournament back in the day, it’s the same feelings that come up when you’re close to winning or up there. I’ll just try to take a little bit from that going into tomorrow."

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