Clement Sordet saved his very best until last as the Frenchman rose to the top of the NBO Golf Classic Grand Final on Moving Day in Oman.
This tournament presents the last chance for the Challenge Tour’s golfers to earn enough points on the Road to Oman to seal a top 15 spot – and a European Tour card for next season.
A top 10 finish at Al Mouj Golf would just about seal it for Sordet but the 25-year-old is clearly in it to win it, as he started the third round with back-to-back birdies.
Then a back nine of 33, including a birdie on an 18th that had a fiendishly tricky pin, saw him move to 13 under and take a one-shot lead over Oliver Lindell heading into the final day.
“It was great to start with two birdies – the perfect way to start the third round,” said Sordet, who won the Viking Challenge earlier this year. “To finish with a birdie was also fantastic and I played really solid for the whole round.
“Some of the pin positions today were a bit crazy so you just had to take your medicine and aim eight or ten yards either side – so that’s what I did.
“I am trying not to think about promotion (to the European Tour)at all. I have been playing really well over the last three weeks so I am just going to keep doing what I am doing as it has worked really well so far. Winning would be a really good way to graduate.”
18 holes to go
— Challenge Tour (@Challenge_Tour) November 3, 2017
But the next 18 holes promise a fierce battle as Lindell and Thursday’s leader Estanislao Goya kept up the pace with solid rounds.
Lindell went bogey-free to go two under for the day while, if not for a double bogey on the 15th, Goya would be sharing the lead with Sordet rather than two shots behind.
“I played really well to be honest, I had really good opportunities and had really good putts that didn’t go in,” said third-placed Goya. “Overall I’m really happy with my round.
“Even though the course was as windy as yesterday, the pins were pretty tough – but the course conditions were really good, the greens are getting firmer, so it’s getting tougher.
“I’m enjoying myself and playing well, so there’s no reason not to be relaxed.”
Lindell was excused from compulsory military service in his native Finland for the tournament – and he’s remaining cool under fire.
“The plan for the day was to make zero bogeys and I did a pretty good job of that,” said the 19-year-old.
“It was pretty difficult out there, you always have to hit good shots on this course to get close, and it was playing really tough today.
“Tomorrow is going to be a really interesting day. It will be the biggest day of my career so hopefully I can play well.”
Just three shots separate the top seven and the most impressive performance of the day belonged to Erik van Rooyen, who moved into a tie for sixth after firing a round of six under.
Know more about Sport360 Application