Jeong weon Ko will take a one-shot lead into the final round of the Swiss Challenge after battling through tough conditions to post a level par round of 72 on day three at Golf Saint Apollinaire.
The 24-year-old entered the third round with a one-shot cushion and maintained his lead on ten under par, one clear of Denmark’s Martin Simonsen who is second on nine under.
The Frenchman cancelled out his four birdies with four bogeys but remains in pole position ahead of the final round, where he will go in search of a maiden European Challenge Tour title.
“It was quite tough out there today,” he said. “The rain was pouring, and the pins were in hard spots which meant it was difficult to get the pace of the greens. It was a tough day mentally and I think the others struggled out there too. My putting was good again but unfortunately, I missed some short ones.
“It’s difficult when the grips get wet, and the ball doesn’t go as far in the cold conditions. It was important to keep dry and I’m thankful to my dad, who is caddying for me, for holding the umbrella and keeping my clubs and clothes dry."
Ko is in a confident mood heading into the final round and is looking to move into the top 20 on the Road to Mallorca Rankings with victory at the Swiss Challenge.
“I’m going to head to the range now and I’m confident I will be in a good place tomorrow," he said. "I’ve got the level to win, and my game is in a good place right now. I’m currently 34th in the Rankings so winning tomorrow will be give me a big chance of securing my card for next year.”
Englishman Ben Stow sits in third place on eight under par, while Frenchman Clément Sordet, Spaniard Manuel Elvira, South African Bryce Easton and England’s Steven Tiley are a shot further back in fourth.
Road to Mallorca Number One Alexander Knappe, Englishman Matthew Baldwin, Sweden’s Oscar Lengden and New Zealand’s Daniel Hillier share eighth on six under par.
The final round will begin at 8:00am local time, with Ko teeing it up alongside Simonsen and Stow in the final group at 9:50am.