Felipe Aguilar on course for wire-to-wire victory in Austria
Chilean golfer cards 72 in third round and leads by two shots
Felipe Aguilar of Chile tees off on the 10th hole during day three of the Lyoness Open at Diamond Country Club in Atzenbrugg, Austria. Photograph: Warren Little/Getty Images
Chile’s Felipe Aguilar remains on course for a wire-to-wire victory in the Lyoness Open after firing a third round of 72 at Diamond Country Club.
Aguilar, who is seeking a third European Tour title, carded four birdies and four bogeys to finish nine under par and hold a two-shot lead for the third day in succession.
Austria’s Sepp Straka, who is ranked 1,181st in the world, Sweden’s Johan Carlsson and South Africa’s Dylan Frittelli share second place on seven under, with England’s Richard McEvoy, South Africa’s Jbe Kruger, Spain’s Carlos Pigem and Finland’s Mikko Korhonen on six under.
Aguilar, who has missed the cut in six of his 11 events this season and has a best finish of 41st, made the ideal start with a birdie on the first, only to three-putt the second.
The 42-year-old surged four clear of the field with birdies on the fourth and seventh, but bogeyed the eighth and 14th to allow Straka to get within one thanks to birdies on the 15th and 16th.
Straka’s bogey on the 17th and a two-putt birdie on the 15th allowed Aguilar to move three ahead until a bogey on the 18th set up a tense final day.
“Today I think I left many shots on the golf course,” Aguilar said.
“I played quite well and I missed a couple of greens, which is normal, and several putts I missed for birdie, so it could have been a little bit better, but I’m still in contention and this is what I wanted on Thursday so we will see what happens.
“I think on the greens I left a couple of shots out there that could have made a huge difference for tomorrow and hopefully tomorrow they will go in.”
Straka, who graduated from the University of Georgia in 2015 and usually plays on the Web.com Tour in the United States, carded five birdies and three bogeys in a second consecutive 70.
“I really managed my game well again today,” the 24-year-old said. “I had some bogeys but took advantage of the chances that I had and made some birdies out there too.
“It was awesome playing with Bernd [Wiesberger] again, I haven’t played with him since I was about 12 years old – he actually made a double-eagle [albatross] on one hole, which was cool.
“I’ve just got to keep executing my gameplan, keep putting my ball in the right spots, make some birdies and put myself in a position where I can actually make a run at it and then see where it goes from there.”
McEvoy moved into contention thanks to a bogey-free 67 as he looked to improve on his third-place finish 12 months ago, which was his best result of the entire 2016 season.
“I’m very happy,” the former Walker Cup player said. “I like it here, it’s a place where I always tend to do well. The course sets up quite well for me and it just proved that over the last few days.”