SAINT ANDREWS, UK: Talented Danish 25-year-old Thorbjorn Olesen edged closer towards a third European Tour victory after a third round of seven-under 65 on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) left him three shots clear at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
The diminutive right-hander, who hails from Fureso, some 20km outside Copenhagen, shook off a bogey at the par-four opening hole at St Andrews before reeling off eight birdies in a third straight round in the 60s.
Olesen finished in a tie for sixth at the 2013 Masters and tied for 12th at the 2012 British Open, his best results at a major tournament.
Germany’s Florian Fritshch, looking for his maiden EPGA victory, is Olesen’s closest pursuer and alone in second spot on 14-under following a bogey-free round at Kingsbarns that included an eagle, at the par-five third, and six birdies in a round of 64.
“It was a great day. I started off badly by hitting it in the water on the first but I got over it and played some good golf out there,” said the delighted Olesen.
“My putter started to get very hot out there and I holed a lot of great putts. So yeah, it was good fun.
“To be honest it’s been very tough this season with an injury, also, and playing some bad golf. But I’ve been finding my way and just practising hard and just hoping for it to come along at some point.
“We will see how the weather is tomorrow (Monday in Manila) but if it’s the same, there’s definitely going to be a lot of birdies.”
Frenchman Benjamin Hebert holds down third place after 54 holes and is 13 under thanks to six birdies against just one bogey at Carnoustie .
Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat is a further shot back after carding eight birdies and two bogeys at St Andrews. The 26-year-old from Bangkok recently won the Paul Lawrie Matchplay, in August, for his second EPGA title and sixth professional victory.
Young Swede Joakim Lagergren is also five strokes behind Olesen as he carded the lowest round of the day with a 62, while Welshman Bradley Dredge and American Chris Stroud are also in the four-man group on 12-under.