Matt Fitzpatrick takes two shot lead into final day in Crans

Englishman is looking for his second win at the European Masters in Switzerland

Matthew Fitzpatrick looks on on the 15th hole during day three of the Omega European Masters at Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club. Photo: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Matthew Fitzpatrick looks on on the 15th hole during day three of the Omega European Masters at Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club. Photo: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

 

Defending champion Matt Fitzpatrick fired a brilliant 63 to take a two-shot lead into the final round of the Omega European Masters in Switzerland.

The Englishman was one of the contenders left disappointed when European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn selected his wild cards on Wednesday but he showed no ill effects in Crans-Montana, charging to 14 under with a bogey-free effort.

Frenchman Mike Lorenzo-Vera was his nearest challenger, with England’s Daniel Brooks one of five players in a group four shots off the lead.

A victory for Fitzpatrick on Sunday would see him become the first man to successfully defend the title since the great Seve Ballesteros in 1978 and his record at Crans-sur-Sierre is formidable, with eight scores of 65 or lower in 17 rounds.

The 24-year-old sandwiched a long putt on the fifth with smart approaches into the second and sixth and when he holed a chip for eagle on the short par-four seventh, he led by three.

A run of seven pars allowed Lorenzo-Vera to reel him in but Fitzpatrick got up and down from over the back of the par-five 15th and then rolled home a 40-foot putt on the last to re-establish a cushion.

“It was really, really good,” he told europeantour.com. “I would say that everything went well today. I drove it really solid and made some great up-and-downs which has been a bit of a struggle this season to keep the round going. There were some real key ones today and that was the difference. It kept the momentum and I managed to kick on.

“He (Ballesteros) is a good man to emulate, so hopefully things go to plan tomorrow.”

Dane Lucas Bjerregaard, American Doug Ghim, South African Haydn Porteous and China’s Wu Ashun were alongside Brooks at 10 under.

Collated European Tour Omega European Masters, Crans-sur-Sierre GC, Crans Montana, Switzerland (Britain & Irl unless stated, par 70):

196 Matthew Fitzpatrick 69 64 63

198 Mike Lorenzo-Vera (Fra) 68 66 64

200 Lucas Bjerregaard (Den) 68 65 67, Haydn Porteous (Rsa) 69 65 66, Daniel Brooks 69 67 64, Ashun Wu(Chn)70 65 65, Doug Ghim(USA)68 65 67

201 Thomas Aiken (Rsa) 68 67 66, Gavin Green (Mal) 69 69 63

202 Nacho Elvira (Spa) 66 69 67, Hideto Tanihara (Jpn) 65 66 71, Nino Bertasio(Ita)70 67 65

203 Lee Westwood 68 69 66

204 Soren Kjeldsen (Den) 65 70 69, Stephen Gallacher 68 66 70, Charl Schwartzel(Rsa)67 69 68, David Lipsky(USA) 68 70 66, Erik Van Rooyen(Rsa)66 71 67

205 Chase Koepka (USA) 71 65 69, Andy Sullivan 65 72 68, Matthew Southgate 69 67 69

206 S.S.P Chawrasia (Ind) 69 66 71, Matt Wallace 68 69 69

207 Phachara Khongwatmai (Tha) 68 71 68, Richard McEvoy 72 67 68, Jorge Campillo(Spa)74 65 68, Austin Connelly(Can) 70 69 68, Darren Fichardt(Rsa)68 71 68, Richard Sterne(Rsa) 69 67 71, Pablo Larrazabal(Spa)67 72 68

208 Andrew Johnston 68 69 71, Maximilian Kieffer (Ger) 64 71 73, Matthieu Pavon(Fra)67 71 70, Ryan Fox(Nzl) 67 69 72, Callum Shinkwin 69 69 70, David Horsey 70 69 69, George Coetzee(Rsa) 69 70 69, David Drysdale 66 70 72, Kiradech Aphibarnrat(Tha)71 67 70, Romain Wattel(Fra)69 67 72, Christiaan Bezuidenhout(Rsa)71 68 69, Fabrizio Zanotti(Par) 69 70 69, Benjamin Hebert(Fra)70 67 71

209 Chris Wood 68 70 71, Julien Guerrier (Fra) 65 71 73, Scott Jamieson 69 68 72, James Morrison 70 69 70, Lee Slattery 68 71 70, Scott Hend(Aus) 70 69 70, Laurie Canter 68 69 72, Andres Romero(Arg)72 67 70, Jeunghun Wang(Kor) 71 68 70, Justin Walters(Rsa)66 71 72, Pedro Oriol(Spa)72 66 71

210 Nicolas Colsaerts (Bel) 71 66 73

211 Mikko Korhonen (Fin) 69 70 72, Edoardo Molinari (Ita) 70 68 73

212 Marcus Kinhult (Swe) 70 69 73, Alexander Levy (Fra) 67 68 77

213 Ricardo Gonzalez (Arg) 71 68 74, Danny Willett 68 66 79, Gregory Havret(Fra)69 70 74

214 Ross Fisher 70 69 75

216 Adrien Saddier (Fra) 74 65 77

217 Robert Karlsson (Swe) 69 69 79, Jaco Van Zyl (Rsa) 71 68 78

219 Josh Geary (Nzl) 68 70 81

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