Pieters holds narrow Czech Masters lead

Thomas Pieters has birdied his final hole in the third round to take a one-shot lead going into Sunday at the Czech Masters.

18-Aug-2019 By Australian Associated Press

Former champion Thomas Pieters will take a one-shot lead into the final round of the European Tour's Czech Masters.

Two shots off the lead after the second round, the Belgian had a strong start on the front nine.

He recovered from a bogey on the third hole with four straight birdies and added an eagle on the par-5 9th to top the leaderboard.

But the 2015 Czech Masters champion opened the back nine with another bogey and had to wait until the birdie on the 18th to regain the lead and close at 6-under-par 66 for a 16-under 200 total at the Albatross Golf Resort near Prague.

"The key to that front nine was the driving," Pieters said.

"I hit it really far and straight so that was presenting a lot of birdie opportunities and a lot of short clubs into the holes.

"To convert the putt on nine after a wonderful six iron in was great, and it's the closest I've come to a two on a par five."

Adria Arnaus of Spain surged on the leaderboard with a bogey-free round of 7-under 65 with seven birdies to be second at 15 under.

Overnight leader Edoardo Molinari of Italy dropped his first shot of the week on the 14th in a round of 70 to share third with Swedes Rikard Karlberg (66) and Robert Karlsson (67), Chile's Hugo Leon (67) at 14 under.

Australia's Jason Scrivener carded a third-round 70 to be placed in a group tied for 16th on eight under while countryman Dimitrios Papadatos had a 71 to be five under.

Defending champion Andrea Pavan of Italy carded a 71 to be tied for 17th at nine under.

Three-time major champion Padraig Harrington was two under after a 73.

Soomin Lee was disqualified on Saturday afternoon after his caddie failed to remove the flagstick on the 11th green, having been instructed by the South Korean - who was on seven under par - to attend it.


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