Callum Shinkwin and Julien Guerrier will battle it out for the title at the Cazoo Open supported by Gareth Bale after an enthralling day three duel at The Celtic Manor Resort saw them both pull well clear of the field, with Shinkwin holding a one-stroke advantage over his French playing partner.
The duo traded blows throughout the day, with Guerrier leading for the early exchanges having entered the weekend two clear, but four birdies on the back nine nudged Shinkwin one shot ahead on 11 under par, the Englishman carding the joint lowest round of the week with a six under 65.
Guerrier certainly did not give the lead away, having opened with a birdie and picked up two more before the turn, but his first bogey of the round at the 16th meant he surrendered his place at the top for the first time all day.
A third round 68, however, left him right in the mix for a maiden DP World Tour title, especially as he sits five clear of third place going into the final day.
Connor Syme was the closest challenger on six under after the Scot picked up three shots in the final four holes to sign for a 68 and move to a five under total, six shots off Shinkwin’s lead.
Callum Shinkwin: “I’m delighted, 65 was a really good score today. I’m playing really well and didn’t make any mistakes and I’ve come out of it with the lead.
“The game has been very good for a long time but it was just a matter of clicking into place. It felt like it was great three months ago but the results weren’t there. Recently I’ve been playing really nicely and had a few pretty good results but not capitalising on how I’m playing.
“The last couple of weeks I’ve been capitalising on it and holing a few putts and not making too many mistakes.
“I never really paid any attention to what Julien was doing, although he was playing really well, I just tried to make sure I played my own ball and my own game, and whatever I shot I shot and that’s what I did and towards the end I took the lead.
“It would everything to win, a win any time anywhere is fantastic and to do it while I’m playing really well would be great.”
Julien Guerrier: “I’m pretty happy, to play under par on this course is always a good thing. Of course it felt a little like a match play, but my main goal was to remain focused on my game. If Callum is playing well that’s not my concern, really good for him of course, but I tried to remain focused on my game and stay in the zone.
“The wind was changing all the time today but I think there is a little less wind tomorrow, but I am not going to change anything. There is one round to go, and it’s a long road so we will see what happens tomorrow.”
Connor Syme: “I’m delighted. It was obviously a really nice way to finish coming down the stretch there, a nice contrast to yesterday when I finished really poorly. It’s put me there or thereabouts, there’s a bit of a gap between me and the leader, so I’m in with a chance but I suppose it will depend on how they play.
“I looked at the leaderboard on 17 and it looks like Julien is playing some great golf out there, as well as Callum – nine and ten under is very impressive. It’s obviously nice to put myself somewhere near them and just to be in with a chance is really good, it’s promising.
“I’ve got a gameplan and as you can see with how I finished today it went well., but then yesterday I finished poorly so you can see that a lot of things can happen on this golf course. There’s a lot of on them trouble on every hole but if you put yourself in position off the tees you can definitely capitalise.
“I think my strategy is going to be the same again, obviously 18 and 15 are gettable in two and there are opportunities right to the very end on this golf course, it’s just about staying there or thereabouts into the back nine tomorrow and you never know what can happen.”