Two-horse race as Canter and McGowan chase Italian title

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Round Three Report

Laurie Canter and Ross McGowan will carry a three-stroke lead into the final round of the Italian Open after an enthralling moving day battle between the English playing partners at Chervò Golf Club.

Canter entered the weekend with a two-shot advantage, having opened his account at the Brescia venue with a stunning first round 60, but he could not build any momentum in the opening exchanges on day three.

A trio of successive birdies in the final three holes, however, meant his name remained at the summit as the 30-year-old signed for a three under 69 and a 19 under total to continue his hunt for a wire-to-wire victory and a maiden European Tour title in his 86th appearance.

For McGowan, a win would complete an remarkable return to the kind of form which earned him a maiden European Tour title at the Madrid Masters back in 2009, en route to a 12th place finish in the Race to Dubai.

After a topsy-turvy front nine which included two birdies, an eagle and three bogeys, the 38-year-old steadied the ship and four birdies on the way home – including three in the final four holes – earned him a five under 67 and a share of the lead heading into the final day.

Big-hitting South African Dean Burmester was the closest challenger on 16 under par, while former Ryder Cup star Nicolas Colsaerts and Germany’s Sebastian Heisele were a shot further back in a share of fourth spot.

Player quotes

Lauria Canter: “I’m pretty happy with that score, because the first few holes I felt pretty out of sorts to be honest. I couldn’t get myself going and I was trying not to fight that too much and stay patient. Then obviously to finish like that is great and to finish in the 60s is a great effort after that day.

“It was a good first swing in the fourth hole and I was quite happy with it, I reckon I would have been on the fairway. I hit the second shot, the power line didn’t hit it for me, I just made a really bad swing and hooked it in the lake. So it’s difficult and I guess it’s just a feature of this course, you’ve got to contend with the odd power line.

“I was unfortunate there but you’re probably going to get your fair share of good and bad luck. I got a great break there on 16, in the bunker it gave me a nice shot so it takes a bit away from you and usually the golfing gods give it back at some point.

“I definitely feel confident I can go out and stick to what I’m doing. I don’t know if that will be good enough. I have a feeling tomorrow a few people a couple of shots back will pull the anchor up and go for it and somebody’s going to go low tomorrow, so Ross and I and those around us will have to keep going forward to be up there. I like how I feel out there so we’ll see how I feel then.”

Ross McGowan: “Definitely my putting has been my best strength this week. It’s helped me in the first two rounds when I hit maybe six fairways. Even today I hit more fairways but not enough, but I rolled a few nice ones in – a couple of 30-footers – and that kept the score going.

“I’m pretty comfortable right now. Not exactly sure where the driver is going but around the greens and on the greens I’ve been very comfortable.

“A win would probably change the outlook for the rest of the year, next year and hopefully for the next few years after that. I’m not getting any younger so it would be quite handy to win one nice and early.”

Dean Burmester: “I played really well the front nine while the wind was up. Played nicely for 11 holes and then on the 12th hole I feel sleep asleep over a two-footer which has been happening a lot lately. But it was nice to bounce back from that with a birdie-birdie finish. That gets me in with a chance tomorrow just three behind, so I’m happy with where I’m sitting and we’ll just have to see what tomorrow holds.

“I missed a lot of putts but if you’d given me four under before the round started I probably would have taken it so I’m not disappointed.

“It’s going to take birdies tomorrow to win. I mean the boys showed it today, both of them played lovely and it was a nice group – all three of us were pulling each other along. We’ll have the same group tomorrow and hopefully I make just a few more birdies than they do.

“I’m not trying to hit it too hard on every shot but it’s that kind of golf course, it’s a little long and quite wide so it benefits the long hitters a little bit. But Ross is showing that you don’t have to be super long to be contending. He’s putting pretty well so if I make a few putts and play one shot at a time, what will be will be, that’s just the game isn’t it.”

Round Three Scores:

197 L CANTER (ENG) 60 68 69, R MCGOWAN (ENG) 66 64 67,
200 D BURMESTER (RSA) 64 68 68,
201 N COLSAERTS (BEL) 68 67 66, S HEISELE (GER) 68 67 66,
202 A ARNAUS (ESP) 65 70 67, T PULKKANEN (FIN) 67 68 67,
203 B WIESBERGER (AUT) 67 68 68, J CALDWELL (NIR) 67 68 68, M KAYMER (GER) 69 66 68, D VAN DRIEL (NED) 71 64 68, L DE JAGER (RSA) 68 68 67,
204 W BESSELING (NED) 65 71 68, E CUARTERO BLANCO (ESP) 68 68 68, J LUITEN (NED) 70 66 68, J QUESNE (FRA) 66 71 67, A MERONK (POL) 67 71 66,
205 N H?JGAARD (DEN) 67 67 71, R BLAND (ENG) 65 70 70, M PAVON (FRA) 70 65 70, C PAISLEY (ENG) 69 67 69, J DONALDSON (WAL) 68 69 68, J FAHRBRING (SWE) 70 67 68, J SJ?HOLM (SWE) 68 70 67, S TILEY (ENG) 68 71 66,
206 A OTAEGUI (ESP) 67 67 72, O LENGDEN (SWE) 65 71 70, K REITAN (NOR) 66 70 70, Y CHANG (KOR) 70 66 70, M ARMITAGE (ENG) 67 70 69, B EASTON (RSA) 68 69 69, H LONG (GER) 69 69 68,
207 J HANSEN (DEN) 64 69 74, D PERRIER (FRA) 65 71 71, G FDEZ-CASTA?O (ESP) 68 69 70, T TREE (ENG) 68 69 70, F LAPORTA (ITA) 68 70 69, C SHARVIN (NIR) 69 69 69, A ROZNER (FRA) 68 71 68, J CAMPILLO (ESP) 68 71 68, M SCHNEIDER (GER) 69 70 68,
208 M WALLACE (ENG) 68 68 72, S JAMIESON (SCO) 68 69 71, M ANTCLIFF (AUS) 70 67 71, A COCKERILL (CAN) 67 72 69, L WESTWOOD (ENG) 72 67 69, F MACCARIO (ITA) 70 70 68,
209 G BHULLAR (IND) 68 69 72, M WARREN (SCO) 69 68 72, D WHITNELL (ENG) 68 70 71, J STALTER (FRA) 73 66 70, M SCHWAB (AUT) 72 68 69,
210 R ROUSSEL (FRA) 66 68 76, D HORSEY (ENG) 69 67 74, N LEMKE (SWE) 66 71 73, G MIGLIOZZI (ITA) 68 69 73, M JORDAN (ENG) 66 72 72, D YOUNG (SCO) 68 70 72,
211 L VAN MEIJEL (NED) 70 69 72, L GAGLI (ITA) 70 69 72, J VEERMAN (USA) 70 70 71,
212 N VON DELLINGSHAUSEN (GER) 69 68 75, J SENIOR (ENG) 66 72 74, E DE LA RIVA (ESP) 68 72 72,
213 L SCALISE (ITA) 67 69 77,
214 D COUPLAND (ENG) 69 67 78, R PARATORE (ITA) 71 69 74,

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