July 01, 2018: Sweden’s Marcus Kinhult maintained his two shot advantage in the HNA Open de France, but the 21 year old has some illustrious company lining up behind up him as he heads into the final round of the European Tour’s third Rolex Series event of 2018.
Both Kinhult and his playing partner, Ryder Cup player Chris Wood, signed for four under par rounds of 67, with each player impressively fighting back from double bogeys early in their third rounds – Kinhult on the second hole, after an opening birdie, and Wood on fourth.
Kinhult responded with five birdies in a row from the fifth hole and then negotiated Le Golf National’s difficult back nine in level par 35 shots to lead on 10 under par, while Wood picked up eight shots in ten holes after dropping three shots in his first five, before bogeying the last to sit two shots back on eight under par.
The pair will have three of the world’s top players – Sergio Garcia, Justin Thomas and Jon Rahm – chasing them on Sunday, with Major Champion Garcia surging into contention courtesy of a masterful display of ball striking in his round of 64.
The Spaniard, who is making his debut over The 2018 Ryder Cup course, posted eight birdies, with his only dropped shot of the day coming on the last hole where he found the water from the tee, as he moved into third place on seven under par.
He will be joined in tantalising penultimate group by his compatriot Rahm, the World Number Five who followed a birdie on the 17th by holing a 35ft birdie putt on the last hole for a round of 68 to lie four shots back on six under par. World Number Two Thomas also found the lake with his drive on the 18th hole, but scrambled a par to post a round of 69, the same as his fellow American Julian Suri, who joins him in a share of fifth place on five under par.