Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen moved closer to the one million euro ($1.1mn) first prize as he opened up a seven-shot lead after the Turkish Airlines Open third round yesterday.
Olesen, who dropped a shot at the last, signed for a three-under-par 68 to move to 18-under on the Regnum Carya course.
The 29-year old London-based Olesen is seeking a fourth Tour victory and a first since last year’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews.
“I’ve never had a seven-shot lead, so that’s why I felt a bit nervous when I went out today, also, because I’ve never been that many shots clear,” he said.
“It’s a bit of a weird feeling, but I know it’s not easy and there’s a bunch of guys there, and it’s possible to shoot a really low one out here. “So the key remains to stay aggressive tomorrow and keep plugging away.”
Masters Champion Danny Willett and the highest ranked played in the field will commence his final round in a distant share of 48th place at two under par.
Willett, who shot a third round 68, needs to finish fifth or higher if he’s to regain the Race to Dubai lead in the absence of the No. 1 ranked Henrik Stenson.
Olesen capped his round with three birdies in succession from the 14th and while he also bogeyed the 10th, the Dane has recorded an eagle, 19 birdies and just three dropped shots over three rounds of the 6.3 million euro event.
“I thought I played really, really solid except for missing a few short putts there in the middle of the round,” he said.
“Tomorrow I have to do the same, be aggressive, and see if I can make a few birdies. That’s the key.” Victory would see Olesen move from 32nd to just outside the top-10 on the Race to Dubai money list, and also lift his European Tour earnings in seven seasons through the seven-million-euro barrier. But he says: “No, it’s not about the money as this is the Final Series and it’s a massive event and obviously it would be great to win it.”
“There’s still 18 holes left and I really have to stay concentrated out there and stay in my own little zone.”
Four players - American David Lipsky (66), Austrian Bernd Wiesberger (66), China’s Li Hatong (68), Italy’s Matteo Manassero (68) and England’s David Horsey (68) - share second at a distant 11-under par. Manassero, 23 is headed for possibly his first top-three finish in over three years since capturing the 2013 BMW PGA Championship, and a fourth Tour title.
But after reaching a high of 25th in the world shortly after that success at Wentworth, the Verona-born Manassero has slumped to be now ranked No. 356.
“I can say being second, one day to go, it’s frustrating because I could have done better today but I’m happy with where I’m standing and we’ll see what happens tomorrow,” he said.
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