Father-son rivalry helps Kjeldsen kick on

Søren Kjeldsen used the motivation of almost being beaten by his 16-year-old son to spur him on as he matched his lowest round of the season on day three of the Italian Open.

Søren Kjeldsen

The Dane has been an ever-present on the European Tour with four victories since he graduated through the Challenge Tour in 1997 - six years before son Emil was born.

The 44-year-old started the 2019 Race to Dubai with a 66 as he finished fifth in the Rolex Series at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA but thus far that has been his only top ten of the season.

He matched that score on Saturday at Olgiata Golf Club as he got in contention again at a blue riband event and revealed a match with Emil last weekend provided some incentive.

"I played with my 16-year-old son on Saturday and he made a 35 footer on the last to tie," he said with a smile.

"We played from the same tees and everything so I had a little look in the mirror and said, 'Søren, you've got to pick this up a little bit'."

A run of five birdies on the front nine sent Kjeldsen flying up the leaderboard and he came home in level par to sit comfortably inside the top ten with 18 holes to go in Rome.

"It's a great round," he said. "This week has been very positive. It's been a tough season for me and I've really had to battle.

"For me, it's really trying to get a few positives before the end of the year and who knows, if I have a good day tomorrow, things could change a little bit.

"I'm trying to take like tiny steps because it's been a lot of downhill stuff this year and I'm trying to climb the ladder a little bit again now."

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