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Kennegard leads the way as Helligkilde eyes Rankings triumph at Rolex Grand Final

The Swede posted a four under par round of 67 to move to ten under par, one stroke clear of Denmark’s Marcus Helligkilde, who could tomorrow become the third Dane to win the Road to Mallorca Rankings after 2018 Champion JB Hansen and former Ryder Cup Captain Thomas Bjørn, who finished as Challenge Tour Number One in 1995.

Kennegard arrived at T Golf & Country Club in 40th position on the Road to Mallorca Rankings knowing he needs at least a top three finish to earn one of the 20 European Tour cards on offer, and his fate is now in his own hands after seizing the initiative on moving day. The 33-year-old made the turn at level par but exploded into life on the back nine, carding four birdies without a blemish to move clear of Helligkilde, who is eyeing his third win of the year after triumphs at the Swiss Challenge and the Vierumäki Finnish Challenge.

Overnight co-leader JC Ritchie posted a level par round of 71 on day three and he sits three strokes behind Kennegard in third place on seven under par, two clear of fellow South African Oliver Bekker, France’s Julien Brun, Portugal’s Ricardo Gouveia, Norwegian Espen Kofstad and Germany’s Yannik Paul, who all share fourth place on five under par.

Everything is still to play for ahead of Sunday’s final round of the 2021 Road to Mallorca, with Helligkilde currently projected to leapfrog Gouveia and Santiago Tarrio into top spot on the Rankings, with the Spaniard currently lying in ninth place on four under par after posting a one under par 70 on day three.

The final round of the Rolex Challenge Tour Grand Final supported by The R&A gets under way at 8:15am local time on Sunday November 7, with Kennegard, Helligkilde and Ritchie comprising the final group at 10:50am.

Player quotes

Jesper Kennegard: “It was just like yesterday, tough out there. I obviously played well; I made a good one on 16 and made a good par save on 14, and on 13 as well, so I was playing pretty well but in the first seven holes I just couldn’t get them to drop. I stayed patient and just tried to see what happens. I’ll take this position going into Sunday.

(On his partner caddying for him) “We’re just having fun. We’re trying to make the most of it. We have two kids so it’s not very often we go away like this so it’s nice to spend time together.”

Marcus Helligkilde: “I would love to win it, but we have 18 holes left of the season. It’s the same as all the other rounds we’ve played, I’ve got to do my best, enjoy it and let’s see how it goes.

“JB Hansen and Thomas Bjørn are big guys, big names, and I want to join them on that one. Let’s see how it goes, I’ll do my best.

“We’re just having fun and that’s really important. Just to go out there in these conditions, enjoy that it’s playing so hard. You know you’re going to make some bogeys and you’re going to hit some pretty funny shots around the course because it’s tough, it’s really tough. I though five over or better would be pretty decent today but I got it around pretty nicely.”

Scores after round three

203 J KENNEGARD (SWE) 68 68 67,

204 M HELLIGKILDE (DEN) 69 67 68,

206 J RITCHIE (RSA) 68 67 71,

208 R GOUVEIA (POR) 67 74 67, E KOFSTAD (NOR) 65 72 71, Y PAUL (GER) 67 70 71, J BRUN (FRA) 68 69 71, O BEKKER (RSA) 66 69 73,

209 S TARRIO (ESP) 72 67 70,

210 N M?LLER (DEN) 72 69 69, M MANASSERO (ITA) 70 69 71,

211 M SIEM (GER) 71 72 68, H LEON (CHI) 69 73 69, L NEMECZ (AUT) 65 76 70, U COUSSAUD (FRA) 68 73 70, F LACROIX (FRA) 71 70 70, C HOWIE (SCO) 72 68 71,

212 H STUREHED (SWE) 68 74 70, D HUIZING (NED) 72 70 70, W NIENABER (RSA) 68 72 72, N KRISTENSEN (DEN) 70 67 75,

213 E FERGUSON (SCO) 69 73 71, H DU PLESSIS (RSA) 70 72 71, A WILSON (ENG) 75 67 71, A HIDALGO (ESP) 70 70 73, C HANNA (USA) 70 70 73,

214 A PLANT (ENG) 70 72 72, K JOHANNESSEN (NOR) 73 69 72, J THOMSON (ENG) 70 71 73, J SVENSSON (SWE) 68 72 74, M SCHNEIDER (GER) 67 72 75,

215 S MANLEY (WAL) 71 73 71, J DANTORP (SWE) 70 73 72, N REGNER (AUT) 73 70 72, M HOEY (NIR) 71 68 76,

216 D HILLIER (NZL) 69 75 72, K ULENAERS (BEL) 71 73 72, F MORY (FRA) 69 73 74,

217 A GARCIA-HEREDIA (ESP) 69 77 71, J LANDO CASANOVA (FRA) 68 71 78,

218 H LONG (GER) 74 75 69, I CANTERO GUTIERREZ (ESP) 71 71 76, B WINDRED (AUS) 71 71 76, J BLAAUW (RSA) 69 72 77,

220 B HELLGREN (SWE) 69 76 75,

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