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Mikko Korhonen maintains narrow advantage at KLM Open

Mikko Korhonen maintains narrow advantage at KLM Open

Mikko Korhonen will take a one-shot lead into the final round of the KLM Open as he goes in search of a wire-to-wire victory at The International.

The Finn started his week with a brilliant 64 containing a hole-in-one and has been on top ever since, following a second-round 68 with a 70 to get to 11 under in Amsterdam.

Italian Guido Migliozzi carded the lowest round of the day with a 66 to become the nearest challenger, one clear of countryman Matteo Manassero, American Sean Crocker and Dane Rasmus Højgaard.

There is more than just the trophy at stake this week, with Korhonen and Migliozzi currently on track to earn spots at The Open Championship as the two leading players not already exempt.

Korhonen won his maiden DP World Tour title at the 2018 Shot Clock Masters and his second came just 11 months later as he tasted victory at the Volvo China Open.

A third this week would end a five-year drought and come remarkably in just his third event after a 12-month spell out of the game.

He started the day with a one-shot lead and while he briefly dropped into a share, an eagle on the third moved him back ahead and proved the highlight of a round also containing two birdies and three bogeys.

"It was really, really fun today," he said. "I didn’t really know what to expect because I haven’t played for a while, and in the circumstances like this, so yeah it was fun.

"It was definitely tougher today than the last two days.

"Just try to enjoy it. Go step by step, shot by shot. It would mean quite a lot but let’s not go there just yet."

Korhonen failed to get up and down after missing the green on the first to drop into a five-way tie for the lead but he holed from 23 feet for that eagle on the par-five third to jump two ahead.

A three-putt at the fourth saw his lead trimmed but the early chasing pack struggled to maintain their momentum and he remained on top as he turned in level-par 36.

A brilliant approach to four feet at the tenth had him two ahead once again but Migliozzi came home in 31 to narrow the advantage and set the clubhouse target.

Long putts on the fourth and fifth brought birdies for the 27-year-old but he dropped a shot at the ninth after a ragged drive.

An approach to seven feet at the tenth and a beautiful tee-shot at the par-three 11th then handed him a birdie-birdie start to the front nine and he hit another smart approach into the 14th before making a two-putt gain on the par-five last.

Korhonen holed a brilliant 37-footer at the 14th to lead by two again but then missed the green at the 16th for a third bogey of the day.

Playing alongside Korhonen, Crocker was two over after 11 holes and looked to be out of contention but he made a hat-trick of birdies from the 14th to get within one.

A double-bogey on the 17th dropped him back again but he birdied the last to keep his hopes alive with a 71.

Manassero chipped in at the first and holed from 64 feet at the fifth but turned in 37 after a roller coaster front nine that contained two further birdies, a double and three bogeys.

He then made three birdies on the way home in a 69 that was matched by Højgaard, who made three birdies and a single bogey.

English pair Joe Dean and Matt Wallace were at eight under alongside Swede Marcus Kinhult, one ahead of another Englishman in Matthew Baldwin, Scot Ewen Ferguson and Italian Edoardo Molinari.

South Africa's Casey Jarvis made the third hole-in-one of the week and 18th of the season when he holed a five iron from 199 yards at the seventh.

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