Scotland’s Marc Warren has a share of the lead going into the final round of the Austrian Open – the first European Tour event since the coronavirus lockdown began.
Warren, 39, carded a two-under-par third round 70 to lie 11-under overall at Diamond Country Club.
He’s joined at the top of the leaderboard by Germany’s Nicolai Van Dellingshausen, with Warren’s fellow Scot, Connor Syme, a shot adrift in a three-way tie for third with Darius Van Driel from the Netherlands and Spanish ace Sebastian Garcia Rodriguez.
Warren is looking to secure his fourth European Tour title and his first since the 2014 Made In Denmark.
He recovered from a bogey at the first hole with birdies at the third, fourth and sixth. He gave a shot back at the par-4 ninth to be out in one-under. A birdie at the par-5 15th saw him post a commendable two-under in extremely wet conditions – a far cry from the blistering heat of Friday’s second round.
“I’m probably as wet coming off today as I was yesterday, but with water today instead of sweat,” laughed Warren. “It was incredibly different conditions. It was a grind from the start, so it was good to get round in under-par.
“Around the turn, it was apparent it was going to be a day where you just had to be there and keep your name on the leaderboard.
“I was just playing for pars, playing sensible golf and waited for the birdies instead of trying to go and get them.
“As the day goes on everything gets wetter and wetter, it’s tough to keep the clubs dry. You’re trying to do all that and concentrate on hitting the shot as well. It was a long day.”
The Scot added that he hopes to use his vast experience to his advantage in Sunday’s final round.
“I know what to expect,” he added. “Some guys haven’t won before, they might not know what to expect. I’m pretty comfortable with the situation I’m in. Hopefully a good front nine tomorrow and I’ll be in with a chance to win.”
Warren’s fellow Scot Syme was the only player without a bogey on his card in round three, posting a three-under 69 – the perfect 25th birthday present for the Drumoig man, who finished runner-up to Mikko Korhonen in the 2018 Shot Clock Masters on the same course.
“It was a brilliant birthday for sure,” said Syme. “When we were going down the first, I don’t think we were too optimistic about finishing the round as it was so wet, but it did definitely die down a little bit. It was persistent rain all day, so very delighted with my score.
“I started off really well. I wasn’t really out of position for seven holes, then got in a bit of trouble at the eighth, but played an unbelievable shot – a 5-wood sliced around the trees – after hitting it in the water and rolled it in for par, so that kept things going and then birdied the ninth which was playing hard today.
“The whole goal was to minimise my mess. Pick the right shot, make sure I was doing the right thing and look after what I can control.”