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Marcel Siem among leading logjam in Italy

Marcel Siem among leading logjam in Italy

The Italian Open presented by Regione Emilia-Romagna is set for a grandstand finish with Sebastian Friedrichsen, Antoine Rozner, Shubhankar Sharma and Marcel Siem all sharing the lead after 54 holes at Adriatic Golf Club Cervia.

The leading foursome will enter the final round at ten under but with 16 players within three shots of the lead, it is all to play for in Ravenna.

Frenchman Rozner made the cut on the number with a birdie on the last on day two but made a stunning surge through the field as he posted a new course record and matched the lowest round of the his DP World Tour career with a 62 to take the lead.

He had finished long before the final groups got under way and while it took some time for anyone to reel him in, he ended the day as part of a leading logjam.

German Siem carded a 66 to join him before India's Sharma completed a bogey-free 67 and Dane Friedrichsen signed for a 68 to make it a four-way tie, one shot clear of Spaniard Adrian Otaegui.

Home favourite Gregorio De Leo, Swiss Joel Girrbach and England's Andrew Wilson were then two shots off the lead, with 12 countries represented in the top 16.

Rozner is a three-time winner on the DP World Tour and while he may have missed three of his last four cuts, he made a mockery of that form after scraping into the weekend.

The 31-year-old got up and down from around the green at the gettable par-four third, holed a putt from the fringe at the sixth and made a two-putt birdie on the par-five seventh but he was still five back at the turn.

He put a pitch to three feet at the tenth, holed a 14-footer at the 13th and put his tee-shot to seven feet at the 14th before a stunning second to six feet at the 15th set up an eagle and handed him a share of the lead.

A 12-footer on the next edged him ahead and with the leaders yet to go out, he was free to watch the field jostle to try and get past him.

Siem is playing just his fourth event since over three months out following hip surgery and maintained momentum after making the cut last time out at the Volvo Car Scandinavian Mixed.

He put approaches inside ten feet at the first and eighth either side of long putts at the third and fifth before dropping his first shot of the day on the 11th.

The 43-year-old bounced back after laying up on the 12th and while he dropped another shot at the 14th, another bounceback on a par five came via two putts on the next.

A fortunate bounce on the last then left him five feet for a birdie and he made the most of his good fortune to be the first man to match Rozner.

Sharma has two wins of his own and while both of those came within two months of each other as 2017 turned into 2018, he has finished in the top 100 on the Race to Dubai Rankings in Partnership with Rolex every season since barring the Covid-affected 2020 campaign.

He left himself 13 feet at the third and then holed from similar distance from the fringe at the fifth to turn in 33.

A monster 40-footer from the fringe at the 14th then had him within one and he recovered from a poor second with a brilliant third at the 15th to make a fourth birdie of the day.

Qualifying School graduate Friedrichsen is playing just his 18th DP World Tour event and looking to better his career-best finish so far of 24th at the recent Soudal Open.

Lengthy putts at the third and sixth sandwiched a bogey on the fourth before he hit a smart approach into the 11th and made a two-putt birdie on the 12th to share the lead.

He had troubles all the way down the next to hand a shot back but left himself four feet at the last to make it a four-way tie.

Otaegui was treading water as he played his first 14 holes in level par with two birdies and two bogeys but he birdied the 15th after laying up and put his tee-shot to ten feet at the 17th to sign for a 69 and get within one.

Local favourite De Leo carded a 66, Wilson signed for a 67 and Girrbach recorded a 68 as they all look for a maiden DP World Tour win.

American pair James Nicholas and Gunner Wiebe, German Jannik de Bruyn, Scot Ewen Ferguson, Swede Marcus Kinhult, Italy's Andrea Pavan, Finn Lauri Ruuska and Frenchman Adrien Saddier were three shots off the lead.

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