Steven Tiley will take a three-shot lead into the final round of Le Vaudreuil Golf Challenge as he goes in search of his first European Challenge Tour title.
The Englishman, who is playing in his 11th season on the Challenge Tour, leads after 54-holes for the first time, and is in pole position to clinch his first title on tour after recording a round of 69, two under par, to stay in front in France.
Tiley began the third day with a three-shot advantage after opening rounds of 64-68 and continued his impressive form at Golf PGA France du Vaudreuil, where he finished runner-up to last year’s wire-to-wire champion Richard McEvoy.
A bogey on the third hole was his only blemish on the front nine as he made back-to-back birdies from the seventh hole to reach the turn at one under par. A birdie on the par five 12th preserved his lead before he followed that up with three successive pars.
After a bogey on the 16th Tiley’s lead dropped to two strokes, however, he bounced back with his third birdie of the week on the 18th hole to sign for a round of 69 and maintain his three-shot advantage over the field.
With 18 holes left to play and a debut Challenge Tour win within touching distance, Tiley is trying to remain calm and concentrate on his game.
“The birdie on 18 could be crucial,” he said. “I’ve got to go out tomorrow and take care of my own business and not worry about anyone else and see if it’s good enough at the end.
“I’m excited for tomorrow and I’m looking forward to it.
“It was tough out there today. It was pretty windy, and it was tough playing with a lead. I held it together and got up-and-down when I needed to, so overall, pretty happy.
“I hit some loose shots at start but hit good shots on seven and eight to make birdies and made a good save on nine. I got a little bit nervous towards the end but managed to birdie the last after a good wedge shot.”
England’s Dave Coupland and Dutchman Darius van Driel, who clinched his first Challenge Tour win at the 2018 Euram Bank Open, sit in a share of second place, hoping to chase down Tiley, after recording rounds of 69 and 68, respectively.
Grégory Havret, a three-time European Tour winner, leads the charge on home soil following his two under par round of 69, including a birdie-birdie finish to join Englishman Matt Ford in a tie for fourth place on an eight under par total.
The final round will start at 7:20am local time with Tiley going in search of victory from 12:30pm.