France’s Victor Perez will take a one-shot lead into the final day of the Porche European Open in Hamburg as he bids for back-to-back wins.
Perez, winner of a playoff for the Dutch Open last Sunday, was two shots off England’s Jordan Smith overnight but got off to a flying start at Green Eagle Golf Courses with a birdie on the 1st and hole-in-one on the 2nd.
The 29-year-old also hit two birdies and three bogeys in a round of 71 for a five-under-par total, to sit a stroke clear of Swede Joakim Lagergren and fellow Frenchman Julien Brun, who also carded 71s.
South Africa’s Justin Walters is three shots behind the leader after shooting a third-round 69.
“It was a perfect six iron for me, a little draw against the left-to-right breeze,” Perez said of his hole-in-one. “I birdied the first and was trying to hit a good shot, I was just trying to bounce it up, which it ended up doing. I didn’t see it, I just heard people clapping, so it was a great bonus.”
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Lagergren fell behind with a double bogey on the 16th and dropped another shot on the last, with Brun losing out with a double bogey on the 18th.
A further shot back, Holland’s Wil Besseling and China’s Li Haotong are on three under. Overnight leader Smith’s 77 dropped him four shots off the pace.
Perez can claim a third career title on Sunday, while also securing one of the 10 places available in the US Open from the European Qualifying Series.
“My confidence is quite high I’d say,” he said. “I won last week, I’m in a great position this week.
“Last Sunday I was really nervous. I hadn’t been in that situation with the lead. I’m very happy with the experience from last week that I can draw on and I know what I need to do – it’s a matter of execution and doing it.”
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