Olesen eyes maiden title
Thorbjorn Olesen (Gallo Images)
Verdura - Denmark's Thorbjorn Olesen carved out a three-shot lead after the third round of the Sicilian Open on Saturday to move to within sight of a maiden European Tour title.
The 22-year-old defied strong winds to card a 67 for a 12-under-par total, a round matched by Canadian Andrew Parr, who shares second place with big-hitting Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts.
They are both nine-under for the tournament.
After Friday's second round saw the 65 players who made the cut separated by just five shots, Saturday's tough conditions tested the field.
"I struggled a little bit on the front nine, but managed to hang in there and was pleased to pick up two shots after making a bogey on the sixth hole. That got me going a little bit and I was able to make a few more chances on the back nine," said Olesen.
"Sometimes the gusts were so strong, especially on the coast, that you just got blown away. It was tough just to stand up sometimes, let alone play golf."
Parr was one of only three players to complete a bogey-free round, as he looks to continue the good form he showed when finishing 13th at the Joburg Open in his only previous European Tour appearance this season.
Colsaerts mixed six birdies with three bogeys in his round of 69, while Lloyd Saltman, Soren Kjeldsen and Peter Lawrie -- a leader after the first and second rounds -- share fourth on eight under par.
Leading and selected Sicilian Open third round scores at the Verdura Golf and Spa Resort on Saturday (GBR & IRL unless stated, par 72):
204 - Thorbjorn Olesen (DEN) 68-69-67
207 - Andrew Parr (CAN) 71-69-67, Nicolas Colsaerts (BEL) 67-71-69
208 - Soren Kjeldsen (DEN) 65-72-71, Peter Lawrie 64-72-72, Lloyd Saltman 71-68-69
209 - Steve Webster 70-71-68, Scott Pinckney (USA) 69-70-70, Jose Manuel Lara (ESP) 69-70-70
210 - John Daly (USA) 71-67-72, Chris Wood 67-71-72, Julien Guerrier (FRA) 68-69-73, Tano Goya (ARG) 65-73-72, Simon Wakefield 69-67-74, Graeme Storm 68-73-69
211 - Alvaro Velasco (ESP) 67-74-70, Garth Mulroy (RSA) 70-67-74, Gareth Maybin 68-73-70, Phillip Price 70-70-71, Pelle Edberg (SWE) 70-66-75, Tom Lewis 68-73-70, Shane Lowry 67-70-74, Tim Sluiter (NED) 69-71-71, Rich Beem (USA) 69-69-73, Richard Green (AUS) 67-70-74
214 - Alex Haindl (RSA) 66-74-74
215 - Shiv Kapur (IND) 71-68-76
216 - Scott Strange (AUS) 70-69-77
218 - Kim Do-Hoon (KOR) 68-71-79
220 - Tjaart Van Der Walt (RSA) 69-70-81