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Schwab stars again in Antalya

Schwab stars again in Antalya

Matthias Schwab will take a three shot lead into the final round of the Turkish Airlines Open after he continued his wonderful run of form on day three at The Montgomerie Maxx Royal.

Matthias Schwab

The Austrian has claimed top fives at the Italian Open and WGC-HSBC Champions recently to take his top ten tally on the 2019 Race to Dubai to nine and he continued to impress on the big stage in Antalya.

This week kicks off a run of three Rolex Series events to finish the season and Schwab carded a 66 in round three to get to 18 under and lead the way from English duo Ross Fisher and Tyrrell Hatton, Frenchman Benjamin Hebert, Scot Robert MacIntyre and American Patrick Reed.

Schwab had extended his one shot overnight lead to three after 11 holes and recovered from a double bogey on the 12th to re-establish his cushion, but he will need more of that fight on Sunday to hold off a chasing pack that has won a Major Championship, a World Golf Championships title and eight other European Tour crowns between them.

"The game plan is going to be the same as it's been the last three days," he said. "The course is gettable and there are a lot of birdies out there so I'll just stay aggressive because pars won't be enough.

"I got off to a really nice start on the first hole with the eagle that I made and then played solid golf all around except for that one little hiccup I had on 12 but, other than that, I was hitting them well. I made a few putts, overall it was a good day."

Schwab soon had some company at the top of the leaderboard on day three but he put his second at the par five first to eight feet for an eagle for the second day in a row to jump two ahead.

Hebert made a big move on the front nine, picking up shots on the first, second, fourth, eighth and ninth.

A lovely deft chip brought him another gain on the par five 11th and moved him within one but he dropped a shot on the next and, when Schwab got up and down on the par five fourth, the lead was three.

Fisher failed to make the most of the first after a three putt but put a tee shot to eight feet at the second to edge closer. He dropped a shot on the next but followed playing partner Schwab in getting up and down on the fourth, and he holed a long right to lefter on the sixth to get within two.

Hebert then joined him at 12 under as he hit back with a birdie on the par five 13th and he drove the par four 15th to set up a birdie that got him within one.

Reed birdied the third to get to nine under but a run of four birdies around the turn catapulted him right into contention as he birdied the eighth and chipped in at the ninth. A brilliant bunker shot on the tenth edged him closer and an up-and-down at the par five 11th had him within two.

Fisher got within one as he holed from 20 feet on the ninth but Schwab followed him in from 15 feet to extend the lead to two once more.

Hatton chipped in at the fourth for an eagle and then birdied the sixth from 15 feet but gave the shot back on the next. Birdies on the tenth and 12th had him back on the move and he took advantage of the next to get to 13 under.

Schwab holed a very long left to righter on the tenth to lead by three but Hebert made a two putt birdie on the last to get to 15 under and set the target.

The leader took advantage of the par five 11th to lead by three again but he had to play sideways out of the trees at the 12th and surrendered a double bogey, with Hatton getting within one as he holed from seven feet on the 17th and got up and down on the last.

Reed three putted the 13th but picked up a shot at the 15th for the third day in a row, put a tee shot to five feet on the next and made a two putt birdie on the last to join the group in second.

MacIntyre was the next to join that group as he turned in level par but made the most of the three par fives on the back nine, drove the par four 15th for an eagle and holed from ten feet at the next to go with a dropped shot on the 14th.

Fisher had dropped a shot on the tenth but he took advantage of the 13th and put his approach to the penultimate hole to tap-in range, before Schwab got up and down from sand on the last to give himself some breathing room.

Scotland's Scott Jamieson, Frenchman Victor Perez and South African Erik van Rooyen were five shots off the lead, one clear of Dane Joachim B Hansen, South African Justin Harding, American Kurt Kitayama, England's Lee Westwood and Paraguay's Fabrizio Zanotti.

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