Fitzpatrick in command in Sweden
 Matt Fitzpatrick. Picture; Getty Images

Matt Fitzpatrick. Picture; Getty Images

Michael Hoey came back from four dropped shots in his first 11 holes to card a two over 74 in the third round of the Nordea Masters,

But as the Ulster star fell 10 spots to 29th on two under alongside Peter Lawrie (71) at Bro Hof Slott in Stockholm, Matthew Fitzpatrick built a commanding five-shot lead as he goes in search of a second European Tour title.
 

The Englishman came into day three with a three-shot advantage, but found himself a shot adrift of playing partner Nicolas Colsaerts after eight holes as the Belgian made a surge up the leaderboard.

A stunning back nine of 32 saw Fitzpatrick pull clear once more, however, as he made five birdies in seven holes on his way to a round of 68 and a 15 under par total.

Colsaerts and defending champion Alex Noren are Fitzpatrick’s closest challengers on ten under par, with the Swede seeking his third title in six years after an excellent 67.

Denmark’s Lasse Jensen was on nine under par after firing the lowest round of the day, a superb 66, with home favourites Alexander Björk and Rikard Carlsberg, England’s Andrew Johnston and Spaniard Alvaro Quiros two further shots back.

Fitzpatrick said: “I’m obviously delighted. It was a bit of a slow start, and I find the front nine more difficult than the front nine, especially in the wind. But I stayed patient and got my rewards in the end. It’s one of the things I’ve learned since turning pro.

“It helps that the course is in such fantastic condition and the weather’s been perfect. The greens are pristine, and the way I’ve putted on them, it won’t surprise you to learn I’m a big fan of them. I wish we could putt on them every week.

“The crowds have also been brilliant, there were a lot of people out there so it’ll be interesting to see how many we get along tomorrow. I’m sure they’ll be supporting Alex Noren because I’m playing with him in the final group, but hopefully there will be one or two cheering for me too.”

Third Round Scores

201 M Fitzpatrick (Eng) 68 65 68, 

206 N Colsaerts (Bel) 70 66 70, A Noren (Swe) 69 70 67, 

207 L Jensen (Den) 72 69 66, 

209 A Johnston (Eng) 67 69 73, A Björk (Sie) 68 68 73, A Quiros (Esp) 71 70 68, R Karlberg (Swe) 70 69 70,

210 R Wattel (Fra) 70 69 71, R Fisher (Eng) 68 68 74, S Henry (Sao) 67 69 74,

211 L Westwood (Eng) 68 71 72, B Hellgren (Sie) 71 72 68, T Hatton (Eng) 71 69 71, C Hanson (Eng) 72 69 70, 

212 T Linard (Fra) 69 68 75, R Karlsson (Swe) 69 74 69, J Hugo (RSA) 71 67 74, R Jacquelin (Fra) 70 69 73, S Hansen (Den) 69 73 70, H Stenson (Sie) 72 70 70, J Morrison (Eng) 70 73 69,

213 N Bertasio (Ita) 73 69 71, J Edfors (Swe) 71 71 71, M Ilonen (Fin) 68 70 75, M Manassero (Ita) 72 67 74, M Lorenzo-Vera (Fra) 72 70 71, M Jonzon (Swe) 72 69 72,

214 Michael Hoey (Nir) 69 71 74, J Dantorp (Swe) 70 74 70, C Berardo (Fra) 67 73 74, J Quesne (Fra) 70 72 72, M Warren (Sao) 67 73 74, Peter Lawrie (Irl) 71 72 71, M Wallace (Eng) 68 70 76, R Dinwiddie (Eng) 77 67 70, J Carlsson (Swe) 73 68 73,

215 S Lee (Kor) 70 70 75, L Bjerregaard (Den) 74 67 74, M Kokocinski (Swe) 71 72 72, F Fritsch (Ger) 67 71 77, T Van Der Walt (RSA) 73 71 71, N Fasth (Swe) 68 75 72,

216 H Porteous (RSA) 69 75 72, J Winther (Den) 72 70 74, S Kapur (Ind) 74 68 74, P Lawrie (Sco) 73 69 74,

217 D Dixon (Eng) 70 69 78, J Lagergren (Swe) 70 73 74, S Gros (Fra) 67 73 77, B Åkesson (Swe) 69 74 74, O Wilson (Eng) 70 73 74, R Bland (Eng) 74 70 73, J Senior (Eng) 73 71 73, C Paisley (Eng) 71 73 73,

218 C Shinkwin (Eng) 69 75 74, R Evans (Eng) 72 69 77, S Hend (Aus) 70 73 75, D Brooks (Eng) 71 71 76, T Bjørn (Den) 69 72 77, R Green (Aus) 69 71 78,

219 K Broberg (Swe) 70 73 76, J Robinson (Eng) 73 71 75, R Johnson (Swe) 69 74 76, M Carlsson (Swe) 71 73 75,

220 J Kruger (RSA) 71 71 78, G Boyd (Eng) 71 73 76, J Sjöholm (Swe) 68 76 76, A Wu (Chn) 70 71 79, P Edberg (Swe) 73 71 76,

221 J Karlsson (Swe) 71 73 77, R Gouveia (Por) 74 70 77, M Svensson (am) (Swe) 71 71 79,

222 P Meesawat (Tha) 70 74 78, F Zanotti (Par) 71 72 79,

223 F Laporta (Ita) 73 71 79, E De La Riva (Esp) 74 70 79,

225 A Otaegui (Esp) 74 69 82,

226 S Dyson (Eng) 74 69 83.