Jordan Smith and David Horsey to go head-to-head in final round in Ballymena

Three-way tie at the top of women’s event ahead of the final round

English duo Jordan Smith and David Horsey will go head-to-head in the final round of the ISPS Handa World Invitational as they both look to end long winless runs in Northern Ireland.

Smith claimed his first and only victory on the European Tour four years and one day ago in Germany, and a bogey-free round of 65 in Ballymena moved him to 15 under and in pole position to win a second title.

For Horsey, it is nearly six years since he claimed his fourth Tour victory at the Made in Denmark, and he went one shot better than Smith to sit just one back with 18 holes to play.

Smith carded a bogey-free 62 on day one at Galgorm Castle to set the early pace and while he could not maintain that scoring in round two at Massereene, the return to the event’s primary course clearly suited him as he combined birdies at the first, second, ninth, 13th and last with 20-foot par saves at the third and fifth to climb back to the summit.

“I’ve been playing well around here for the two days that we’ve been here and I’m feeling good, swing is feeling good, so we’ll see how it goes,” he said.

“Today we didn’t really do too much wrong at all, the putter saved me quite a few times, so hopefully it can do that tomorrow if needed to.”

Horsey had been bogey-free over days one and two and while he dropped his only shot of the week so far on the sixth, an excellent putting performance helped him secure birdies on the second, seventh, 10th, 11th, 13th, 15th and last.

“I didn’t play great, to be honest,” he said. “Didn’t hit it in the fairway enough the back nine but holed some nice putts and that’s what you’ve got to do. At the end of the day it’s all about scoring.

“This is the place to be and to have a chance to win come Sunday is always nice. Go and play golf tomorrow, see what happens, and hopefully can do enough.”

New Zealand's Daniel Hillier was at 11 under, a shot clear of Japan's Masahiro Kawamura and Dutchman Darius Van Driel.

Tom McKibbin leads the home challenge, a third-round 69 moving him to five under, one shot clear of Dermot McElroy, who carded a 68.

In the women's event, Thailand's Pajaree Anannarukarn signed for a 66 to surge up the leaderboard and share top spot at 13 under with Americans Jennifer Kupcho and Emma Talley.

After eagling the third, the 22-year-old saw her momentum stall on the front nine but she came home in 30 with six birdies, making five in a row from the ninth.

“I think my putter was working very well today,” said Anannarukarn, who secured a top 10 at last week’s Amundi Evian Championship. “I made a lot of good birdie putts out there and I’ve been hitting it really good.

“It’s still going to be 18 holes to go and I think I’m just going to focus on doing what I can do tomorrow.”

Overnight leader Talley had to fight back from a double-bogey after finding the water at the ninth to sign for a level par 73, and admitted she found it strange playing alongside her boyfriend, who is Kupcho’s caddie.

“It was weird, I honestly didn’t like it,” she said. “Now I know what to expect, so I feel a lot better about doing it tomorrow.

“Today honestly threw me off. I was also very nervous. I haven’t been in this position in a long time and the fact that I kind of came back after the double on nine, I kind of got mad again and used that energy to make a few birdies in a row.”

Kupcho birdied her last two holes in a 70 to get into a share of the lead, with England's Charley Hull falling five shots off the pace after a 74.

Olivia Mehaffey lies eight shots off the lead after she carded a third round of 71.

Men’s leaderboard

195 Jordan Smith (Eng) 62 68 65

196 David Horsey (Eng) 67 65 64

199 Daniel Hillier (Nzl) 67 62 70

200 Masahiro Kawamura (Jpn) 65 69 66, Darius van Driel (Ned) 70 65 65

201 Justin Harding (Rsa) 70 64 67, Vincent Norrman (Swe) 69 65 67

202 John Catlin (USA) 69 66 67, Oliver Farr (Wal) 67 68 67, Alejandro Canizares (Esp) 66 68 68, Daniel Gavins (Eng) 71 65 66

203 David Law (Sco) 67 69 67, Blake Windred (Aus) 69 70 64, Ignacio Elvira (Esp) 66 67 70, Garrick Porteous (Eng) 68 64 71, Max Schmitt (Ger) 66 73 64

204 Richard McEvoy (Eng) 68 69 67, Alexander Levy (Fra) 69 69 66, Dale Whitnell (Eng) 67 69 68, Jacques Kruyswijk (Rsa) 67 69 68, Paul Peterson (USA) 69 69 66

205 Lucas Bjerregaard (Den) 69 68 68, Matthias Schmid (Ger) 64 69 72, Tom McKibbin (NIrl) 67 69 69, Hugo Leon (Chi) 67 73 65, Santiago Tarrio (Esp) 70 67 68

206 Eddie Pepperell (Eng) 66 67 73, Shubhankar Sharma (Ind) 70 69 67, Marcus Armitage (Eng) 71 67 68, Dermot McElroy (NIrl) 72 66 68, David Drysdale (Sco) 64 70 72, Ashley Chesters (Eng) 68 70 68, Gaganjeet Bhullar (Ind) 72 67 67, Francesco Laporta (Ita) 69 69 68, Jack Senior (Eng) 68 66 72, Connor Syme (Sco) 72 66 68, Maverick Antcliff (Aus) 68 70 68, Robin Sciot-Siegrist (Fra) 69 70 67, Adrien Saddier (Fra) 69 66 71, Ben Evans (Eng) 70 66 70, Jordan Wrisdale (Eng) 69 67 70

207 Julian Suri (USA) 73 67 67, Svn-Hwan Kim (USA) 68 72 67, Bryce Easton (Rsa) 70 70 67, Eduardo de la Riva (Esp) 67 72 68, Tom Murray (Eng) 70 68 69

208 Andy Sullivan (Eng) 67 71 70, Marc Warren (Sco) 69 68 71, Calum Hill (Sco) 66 72 70, David Coupland (Eng) 71 69 68, Carlos Pigem (Esp) 70 63 75, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (Esp) 69 71 68

209 Ryan Lumsden (Sco) 69 70 70, Wil Besseling (Ned) 69 67 73, Pep Angles (Esp) 71 67 71, Niall Kearney (Irl) 69 71 69, Dimitrios Papadatos (Aus) 69 68 72

210 Simon Thornton (Irl) 70 68 72, James Morrison (Eng) 67 67 76, Thongchai Jaidee (Tha) 67 70 73, Jean-Baptiste Gonnet (Fra) 71 68 71, Bradley Dredge (Wal) 68 71 71, Clement Sordet (Fra) 73 67 70, Bernd Ritthammer (Ger) 71 69 70, Ajeetesh Sandhu (Ind) 68 70 72

211 Nicolai Hoejgaard (Den) 72 68 71

212 Benjamin Poke (Den) 68 72 72

214 Berry Henson (USA) 70 68 76

Women’s leaderboard

British and Irish unless stated

205 Jennifer Kupcho (USA) 66 69 70, Pajaree Anannarukarn (Tha) 70 69 66, Emma Talley (USA) 67 65 73

206 Chella Choi (Kor) 66 69 71

208 Atthaya Thitikul (Tha) 71 67 70

209 Su-Hyun Oh (Aus) 68 72 69, Wichanee Meechai (Tha) 70 72 67

210 Charley Hull 68 68 74, Sarah Kemp (Aus) 70 71 69, Ryann O'Toole (USA) 72 68 70, Mina Harigae (USA) 69 69 72, Elizabeth Nagel (USA) 75 68 67

211 Gemma Dryburgh 66 70 75, Ursula Wikstroem (Fin) 70 70 71, Yealimi Noh (USA) 73 70 68, Pornanong Phatlum (Tha) 68 71 72

212 Georgia Hall 68 73 71, Lina Boqvist (Swe) 72 72 68, Linnea Stroem (Swe) 70 70 72, Lindsey Weaver (USA) 72 69 71, Muni He (Chn) 71 69 72, Paula Reto (Rsa) 74 71 67, Min-Seo Kwak (Kor) 67 70 75, Alana Uriell (USA) 70 73 69, Sydnee Michaels (USA) 73 69 70

213 Olivia Mehaffey 70 72 71, Cloe Frankish 72 73 68, Tiia Koivisto (Fin) 71 71 71, Yu Liu (Chn) 75 70 68, Alison Lee (USA) 73 70 70, Lindy Duncan (USA) 73 72 68, Dottie Ardina (Phi) 72 69 72, Kristen Gillman (USA) 72 69 72

214 Pernilla Lindberg (Swe) 73 66 75, Esther Henseleit (Ger) 70 73 71, Stephanie Kyriacou (Aus) 70 72 72, Karolin Lampert (Ger) 70 72 72, Johanna Gustavsson (Swe) 72 69 73, Lauren Coughlin (USA) 72 73 69, Katherine Perry (USA) 74 69 71

215 Elizabeth Young 73 70 72, Lydia Hall 70 71 74

216 Lizette Salas (USA) 73 71 72, Kristy McPherson (USA) 70 73 73

217 Maria Hernandez (Esp) 72 72 73, Nicole Broch Larsen (Den) 77 67 73, Marta Martin (Esp) 72 73 72, Cheyenne Knight (USA) 71 74 72

218 Nuria Iturrioz (Esp) 74 71 73, Sarah Burnham (USA) 68 73 77

219 Amy Boulden 73 72 74, Alice Hewson 73 71 75, Celine Palomar-Herbin (Fra) 71 69 79, Bronte Law 69 75 75, Elina Nummenpaeae (Fin) 73 72 74, Franziska Friedrich (Ger) 71 74 74, Andrea Lee (USA) 70 73 76, Caroline Inglis (USA) 71 74 74,Pannarat Thanapolboonyaras (Tha) 71 72 76,

220 Olivia Cowan (Ger) 71 72 77, Laura Fuenfstueck (Ger) 72 73 75, Silvia Banon (Esp) 74 71 75, Lauren Kim (USA) 74 71 75

222 Kylie Henry 73 71 78