Olesen retains Austrian Open lead

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iol spt july27 Olesen Getty Images Denmark's Thornbjorn Olesen managed to hold off a pack of rivals snapping at his heels on the third day of the Austrian Open.

Vienna – Denmark's Thornbjorn Olesen managed to hold off a pack of rivals snapping at his heels on the third day of the Austrian Open on Friday, finishing with a 16-under-par 200, three strokes clear of his nearest challenger.

Olesen matched his second-round score of 68 from Thursday, but fell shy of the blistering 64 he had carded Wednesday to match the course record on the par-72 at Atzenbrugg, near Vienna.

Rikard Karlberg of Sweden came next on the leader board at 13

under after shooting a 66 for his third round, followed by the quartet of England's Richard Bland, France's Benjamin Hebert and Thomas Levet, and local hero Bernd Wiesberger.

Hebert, who had gotten off to a slow start with an opening round of 72, matched Olesen and the course record Friday with a 64.

Levet, who had been second overnight, had an uneven front nine but managed to hold on for a share of third place.

Olesen's co-leader from the first round, Spaniard Pablo Larrazabal, managed to battle back to eight under par overall – putting him in 14th place – after suffering a difficult second day that saw him hit two over par before the weather forced him inside after nine holes.

Friday was the first day of the tournament to finish without a weather interruption. Rain drenched the opening day Wednesday, forcing a suspension of three hours and 40 minutes, and organisers called off play Thursday over fears of lightning. – Sapa-AFP


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