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Jordan Smith joins Ewen Ferguson at BMW International Open summit

Jordan Smith joins Ewen Ferguson at BMW International Open summit

Jordan Smith carded an excellent 66 to join Ewen Ferguson at the top of the leaderboard heading into the final round of the BMW International Open.

Ferguson entered day three at Golfclub München Eichenried with a two-shot lead and while a 71 kept him at the summit at 14 under, Smith reeled him in as he recovered from an early bogey with five birdies and an eagle.

Swede Jens Dantorp signed for a 64 to sit one shot back at 13 under alongside France's Romain Langasque, one clear of Australian David Micheluzzi, American Patrick Reed and England's Matthew Southgate.

Both Smith and Ferguson will be hunting a third DP World Tour title on Sunday but they will have plenty of competition, with 15 players within five shots of the lead.

Since winning his first DP World title here in Germany as a rookie at the 2017 European Open, Englishman Smith has been a picture of consistency, finishing inside the top 50 on the Race to Dubai Rankings in Partnership with Rolex five times with 22 top tens.

He currently sits 32nd on the Race to Dubai and is looking forward to challenging again after finishing second earlier this season at the Jonsson Workwear Open.

"I'm looking forward to it," he said. "It's going to be low scoring tomorrow so I think we've got to stay aggressive when we can. We've got to take those birdie opportunities."

He added: "It's never perfect but holes like 11 and 12 always help: I holed a long putt for eagle and then chipped in for birdie.

"That was massive for momentum to get as close to Ewen as possible and take it into tomorrow."

Scot Ferguson has also been a regular at the right end of the Rankings since claiming two wins in 2022 and he was hopeful he had got his difficult round out of the way for the event.

"It was a tough day and just quite happy to have a good chance tomorrow," he said. "I’m in a good position and I think on a Saturday you can easily wipe yourself out of it but you can’t win it. We’ve got a good opportunity tomorrow.

"I feel like I’m good enough, I’m ready and my game’s in really good shape. It’s exciting and I just want a chance coming down the last nine on Sunday. That’s what you play and practise for and if I get myself in that part then I feel like it’s a win on its own and we can take it from there.”

Ferguson birdied the first from 11 feet but so did Langasque after a stunning approach from the rough, although the Frenchman would fall back with bogeys on the second and fifth.

Smith was heading in the wrong direction with a bogey on the third but he hit back in style, holing from 23 feet on the fourth, getting up and down on the gettable next and doing the same from over the back of the par-five sixth to turn in 34.

Ferguson had made eight birdies in a row but he missed the green to drop a shot on the tenth and when Smith eagled the 11th from 50 feet, he was just one back.

A chip-in at the 12th had Smith flying but Ferguson kept his nose in front on the par-three with a tee-shot to four feet and holed from just off the green at the 13th to lead by two.

Smith holed another lengthy putt on the 14th and a Ferguson three-putt meant there was a two-shot swing and a tie for the lead.

A dart of an approach to the seventh had seen Langasque turn in level par before he missed a golden opportunity for eagle after putting his second to eight feet on the 11th.

He made his birdie and then drove the short par-four 16th, getting down in two to sit just one shot off the lead.

Dantorp hit a smart approach into the first and holed a long putt on the second and while he dropped a shot on the third, he pitched to tap-in range at the fifth and got up and down on the par-five ninth to turn in 33.

A brilliant second to 13 feet on the 11th set up an eagle and he left himself just three feet on the 13th but made a second bogey of the day one the next.

Birdies from 11 and 17 feet followed on the 15th and 16th and a two-putt birdie from distance on the last saw him match the lowest round of the week.

Micheluzzi, Reed and Southgate all carded rounds of 68 to sit a shot ahead of Japan's Rikuya Hoshino, who signed for a 69.

There were then seven players at nine under.

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