(Reuters) – England’s Lee Slattery surged into the lead with a barnstorming nine-under-par 62 in the third round of the Italian Open at Gardagolf Country Club on Saturday.
The 39-year-old signed off the best score of the week with eight birdies, an eagle and a single bogey which took him 16-under overall.
“It was very relaxing, playing with two good guys, Laurie Canter and Richard Sterne, know them both quite well, and we just enjoyed it,” Slattery said.
“When you get in that zone, you just keep making birdies. It’s a great feeling. I’ll just try and relax and just enjoy it tomorrow.”
Slattery will start Sunday’s final round with a one-shot advantage over Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen and home favourite Francesco Molinari, with overnight leader Martin Kaymer and former Masters champion Danny Willett a shot further back.
Olesen made seven birdies before dropping a shot on the 16th hole to finish with a round of 65, while last week’s BMWPGA Championship winner Molinari carded a 66 in front of the locals in Brescia.
English duo Andy Sullivan and Jordan Smith turned in a 65 to share sixth on 13-under with Spain’s Rafa Cabrera Bello and Chinese youngster Li Haotong.
(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)