Lowry, Aphibarnrat Share 54-Hole Lead in Turkey

Shane Lowry fired a 6-under 65 on Saturday to grab a share of the 54-hole lead at the Turkish Airlines Open. The Irishman is 14-under 199, and tied with Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who posted a day-three 66.

Lowry went bogey free on his round with six birdies, highlighted by three in a row on Nos. 11, 12 and 13.

“I knew I was going well. Obviously I got it to 14-under and walked up on to the 14th green and seeing that I was tied for the lead, so I was pretty chuffed with that,” said a smiling Lowry. “Managed to — I only parred in, missed a couple of chances. But a good par save on 16, as well.”

Despite a shaky day off the tee, Aphibarnrat also turned in a clean card on Saturday, which included a pair of birdies on the front, and three to close on the back.

“I didn’t hit driver good, holed a couple putts, but overall, better than standard,” said Aphibarnrat.

Both co-leaders are in search of European Tour title No. 4, while Lowry – winless since the 2015 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, is also looking to jump into the top 60 in the Race to Dubai Rankings and earn a spot in the season-ending DP World Tour Championship.

“It would mean a lot. I’m going to have a nice evening this morning and get up and do the same thing I’ve been doing every day, and go out tomorrow and play the best I can,” said Lowry, when asked what a win would mean after a two-plus season dry spell. “If it happens, it happens and if it doesn’t, that’s it. That’s golf.”

Belgium’s Nicolas Colsaert, the 36-hole leader at Regnum Carya Golf & Spa Resort, teed off with a 4-shot advantage, and increased that lead to five at the turn. But a 4 over closing nine had the long bomber sign for a third-round 73 and a three-day total of 12-under 201, good for T3.

“I took a couple of blows around 12 and 15. But you know, if you add it all up, it’s the only couple of blemish that I’ve had so far this week. I’m still within striking distance, which I’m happy with,” said Colsaert.

A pair of major champions, England’s Justin Rose and Irishman Padraig Harrington, posted matching low-round 64s to jump up to T3, alongside Colsaert.

Rose, who is seeking his second win in as many weeks, made a move at the mid point of his inward nine, dropping four birdies in a row on Nos. 12-15 to finish his second straight round bogey-free.

“Very satisfying today. Again it was another perfect day to play golf. Got off to a good start today, 3-under through five, I think it was but felt like I could hole every hole on the front nine that. Put me in a positive mind-set. Knew there was a low score out there,” said Rose.

Harrington, meanwhile, had a card filled with eight red numbers against just one bogey.

Alone in sixth is Belgium’s Thomas Pieters, who posted a 5-under 66, including an outward 29. He is at 11 under and just three off the lead.

Englishmen Eddie Pepperell (71) and Matthew Southgate (69), along with defending champion Thorbjørn Olesen (66), South African Dylan Frittelli (66), Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher (69) and Frenchman Matthieu Pavon (66) were tied at 10 under.


TOP 10: ROUND 3

T1 Shane Lowry -14
T1 Kiradech Aphibarnrat -14
T3 Padraig Harrington -12
T3 Justin Rose -12
T3 Nicolas Colsaerts -12
6 Thomas Pieters -11
T7 Matthieu Pavon -10
T7 Dylan Frittelli -10
T7 Thorbjorn Olesen -10
T7 Stephen Gallacher -10
T7 Matthew Southgate -10
T7 Eddie Pepperell -10


SHOT OF THE DAY

Tyrrell Hatton with a wedge putt from 29 feet on the 18th hole.

A post shared by European Tour (@europeantour) on


QUOTABLE

“I’m very excited about tomorrow, and I’m really happy with how today went and how I played and how I handled myself. Looking forward to getting out there and being in the hunt. I haven’t really been there for awhile, so it will be good.”
Shane Lowry, 54-hole co-leader.


LEADERBOARD

 PLAYER  
T1Shane Lowry65-14
T1Kiradech Aphibarnrat66-14
T3Padraig Harrington64-12
T3Justin Rose64-12
T3Nicolas Colsaerts73-12
6Thomas Pieters66-11
T7Matthieu Pavon66-10
T7Dylan Frittelli66-10
T7Thorbjorn Olesen66-10
T7Stephen Gallacher69-10
T7Matthew Southgate69-10
T7Eddie Pepperell71-10
T13Julian Suri66-9
T13Joost Luiten67-9
T13Paul Dunne67-9
T13Peter Uihlein68-9
T13Lee Westwood69-9
T13Matthew Fitzpatrick70-9
T19Fabrizio Zanotti67-8
T19Callum Shinkwin67-8
T21Paul Waring67-7
T21Alexander Levy64-7
T21Ian Poulter69-7
T24Chris Wood66-6
T24Richie Ramsay68-6
T24Soren Kjeldsen71-6
T27Nacho Elvira68-5
T27David Lipsky67-5
T27Haydn Porteous69-5
T27Tommy Fleetwood67-5
T27Martin Kaymer66-5
T27Andres Romero71-5
T27Tyrrell Hatton71-5
T34Bernd Wiesberger69-4
T34Jorge Campillo70-4
T34Robert Rock68-4
T37Andrew Dodt69-3
T37Lucas Bjerregaard70-3
T37Marcel Siem70-3
T37Jordan Smith74-3
T37Henrik Stenson66-3
T42Ali Altuntas71-2
T42Thomas Bjorn70-2
T42Benjamin Hebert68-2
T42Sam Brazel67-2
T46George Coetzee70-1
T46Romain Wattel69-1
T46Victor Dubuisson69-1
T46Alexander Bjork69-1
T50Ryan Fox72E
T50Andy Sullivan75E
T50Edoardo Molinari70E
T50Gregory Bourdy70E
T50Andrew Johnston70E
T50Austin Connelly68E
T56Scott Hend721
T56Michael Lorenzo-Vera701
T56Anthony Wall681
T56Richard Sterne671
T60David Drysdale742
T60Adrian Otaegui762
T60Marc Warren732
T60Matt Wallace722
T60Renato Paratore692
T60Jeunghun Wang702
T60Pablo Larrazabal642
T67Marcus Fraser763
T67Lee Slattery743
T67Hideto Tanihara733
T67David Horsey733
T67Brandon Stone723
T67Haotong Li703
T67Scott Jamieson693
74Dean Burmester705
75(a) Leon Acikalin7613
76Nino Bertasio7814
77Graeme Storm7916
78(a) Taner Yamac7520

Credit: European Tour Media, Getty Images


Jeff Smith

Jeff is a Producer for Pro Golf Weekly. He is producing a digital documentary on the 2016-17 PGA Tour season.



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