Iceland's Hafthorsson chases history; Slattery leads in Prague
 Birgir Hafthorsson in action in Austria back in 2011. Picture: Getty Images

Birgir Hafthorsson in action in Austria back in 2011. Picture: Getty Images

Gavin Moynihan and Kevin Phelan are back in the pack but Iceland's Birgir Hafthorsson will take a remarkable seven-shot lead into the final day at the European Challenge Tour’s Cordon Golf Open.

Both men shot one-over 71s in round three to lie 31st and 38th on one-under and level par respectively, well adrift of Hafthorsson, who leads on 18 under par after incredible rounds of 63, 65 and 64 at Golf Blue Green de Pléneuf Val Andre.

Following the delayed completion of the second round, the Icelander started round three four shots ahead of Sweden's Christofer Blomstrand and extended that advantage with a birdie on the second hole.

A couple of dropped shots followed but any signs of a wobble were soon banished as back-to-back birdies preceded an eagle on the seventh before another birdie streak at the start of his back nine saw the Hafthorsson show continue.

A closing birdie felt like an inevitability after three days where the 41-year-old has seemed to be playing a different course to anyone else.

For reference, the winning total in the ten previous stagings of the tournament has only been better than ten under par on four previous occasions, with Benjamin Hebert’s 15 under par the lowest ever winning score.

History beckons for Hafthorsson, who will approach the biggest day of his career knowing that a significant victory for both him and for Icelandic golf beckons.

“What can I say, it was a really, really good day,” he said. “It’s probably the best golf I’ve ever played, which is nice to come at this age, so let’s hope it can continue tomorrow.

“Tomorrow is the biggest day of my career. I’ve never won, so that would be nice – I’ve won back home but never out here, so that would really be something.

“My putter is still going so well, and I’m hitting my two iron really well, hitting a lot of fairways and making a lot of putts, but as soon as you start to be too protective, the bogeys can start to come.

“This course is really like that – you can get it going but also all of a sudden you can screw it up, so it’s fun, that’s how it is on this course.

“I think it was a great achievement when I made it to the European Tour, and there’s an Icelandic girl who has made it to the LPGA Tour, which is a great achievement too, but as a personal achievement, it would be great.

“It’s always tough mentally to be so far in front and I’ll really need to stay focussed and not think about too much, but you’re always going to think a little bit ahead – I’ve just got to make sure I’m ready when tomorrow comes.”

Sharing a fairly distant second place are Matt Ford and 2013 Cordon Golf Open winner Andrea Pavan, who both signed for rounds of 66 to reach 11 under par.

Finnish teenager Oliver Lindell is one shot further back in fourth place, aided by back-to-back eagles to start his back nine, with Marcel Schneider and Mark Tullo in a share of fifth place on nine under par.

Adrien Saddier, runner-up in last week’s Rolex Trophy, is the leading Frenchman on home soil but starts the final round 11 shots off the lead in a tie for eighth place.

Michael Hoey missed the one-over cut by a shot after a second round 72 with Cormac Sharvin (72) on three-over and Rory McNamara (75) eight over.

Tommy O'Driscoll retired 13 holes of his second round on 11-over.

 PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC - SEPTEMBER 02:  Lee Slattery of England on the 11th tee during the third round of the D+D REAL Czech Masters at Albatross Golf Resort on September 2, 2017 in Prague, Czech Republic.  (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC - SEPTEMBER 02:  Lee Slattery of England on the 11th tee during the third round of the D+D REAL Czech Masters at Albatross Golf Resort on September 2, 2017 in Prague, Czech Republic.  (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Hurley and Clarke cut in Prague

Darren Clarke and Gary Hurley missed the cut but Lee Slattery will take a two-shot lead heading into the final round of the D+D REAL Czech Masters after firing an impressive 67 to close out a marathon day at Albatross Golf Resort.

Hurley added a 76 to his opening 73 to finish four shot outside the one-over cut mark with Clarke a shot further back after rounds of 74 and 76.

It was a far different day for Slattery, who shot a brilliant 65 on day two in tough conditions before the course became flooded, leaving many of his competitors with over 30 holes to play on Saturday.

Both of his previous European Tour victories have come when leading after three rounds and win number three could be part of a double celebration, with his wife more than a week overdue with the couple's second child.

He was one shot ahead at the start of the day but found himself three behind countryman Chris Hanson by the time round three was completed.

Hanson did lead by four at one stage but as he and some of the rest of the field began to fatigue, Slattery put his foot on the pedal, moving to 12 under and the 54-hole lead for the fourth time in his European Tour career.

South African Haydn Porteous played 33 holes on Saturday and battled well to shoot a third-round 67 to sit at ten under. Meanwhile, Swede Pontus Widegren was then at eight under, a shot clear of Hanson and fellow Englishman Jonathan Thomson who was making his European Tour debut.

English duo James Morrison and Callum Shinkwin, last week's winner Julian Suri, Austrian Martin Wiegele and Dane Jeff Winther were then all at six under.

Cordon Golf Open, Golf Blue Green de Pléneuf Val Andre (Par 70)

192 B Hafthorsson (Isl) 63 65 64, 

199 A Pavan (Ita) 67 66 66, M Ford (Eng) 67 66 66, 

200 O Lindell (Fin) 67 68 65, 

201 M Schneider (Ger) 66 68 67, M Tullo (Chi) 64 69 68, 

202 J Hansen (Den) 66 69 67, 

203 M Lampert (Ger) 69 67 67, N Geyger (Chi) 63 73 67, A Saddier (Fra) 67 67 69, 

204 M Ovesen (Den) 68 70 66, C Brazillier (Fra) 70 66 68, C Blomstrand (Swe) 69 63 72, N Von Dellingshausen (Ger) 66 70 68, 

205 M Søgaard (Den) 67 68 70, M Schwab (Aut) 68 69 68, T Linard (Fra) 69 69 67, 

206 V Perez (Fra) 68 70 68, S Brown (Eng) 68 69 69, R Kellett (Sco) 69 64 73, 
207 M Baldwin (Eng) 69 72 66, C Batut (Fra) 69 69 69, C Griffiths (Eng) 68 68 71, P Howard (Eng) 70 70 67, R Enoch (Wal) 69 72 66, A Snobeck (Fra) 70 68 69, G Schoeb (Fra) 69 65 73, 

208 F Maccario (Ita) 72 68 68, F Laporta (Ita) 74 67 67, L Cianchetti (Ita) 72 69 67, 

209 S Einhaus (Ger) 69 69 71, S Towndrow (Eng) 71 70 68, J Lando Casanova (Fra) 66 73 70, R Hjelm (Den) 68 70 71, M Galiano Aguilar (Esp) 71 67 71, R Davies (Wal) 70 69 70, Gavin Moynihan (Irl) 69 69 71, 

210 P Eriksson (Swe) 68 71 71, C Russo (Fra) 70 70 70, P Oriol (Esp) 68 71 71, R Sciot-Siegrist (Fra) 66 75 69, M Haastrup (Den) 70 71 69, T Shadbolt (Eng) 67 71 72, Kevin Phelan (Irl) 69 70 71

211 T Perrot (Fra) 65 76 70, A Tadini (Ita) 71 70 70, K Eriksson (Swe) 71 69 71, J Sarasti (Esp) 66 75 70, D Law (Sco) 67 74 70, 

212 T Murray (Eng) 71 68 73, V Riu (Fra) 70 71 71, T Grava (Fra) 70 70 72, 

213 S Fernandez (Esp) 70 71 72, J Kunzenbacher (Ger) 71 69 73, P Relecom (Bel) 68 73 72, 

214 H Joannes (Bel) 69 72 73, 

215 L Capon (Fra) 73 68 74, 

218 I Cantero Gutierrez (Esp) 72 69 77, 

220 O Rozner (Fra) 66 74 80, 

225 J Coupade (Fra) 66 74 85.


D+D REAL Czech Masters, Albatross Golf Resort (Par 72)

204 L Slattery (Eng) 72 65 67, 

206 H Porteous (RSA) 70 69 67, 

208 P Widegren (Swe) 67 72 69, 

209 C Hanson (Eng) 68 66 75, J Thomson (Eng) 71 70 68, 

210 C Shinkwin (Eng) 66 75 69, J Morrison (Eng) 68 70 72, M Wiegele (Aut) 69 73 68, J Winther (Den) 74 68 68, J Suri (USA) 68 74 68, 

211 T Lewis (Eng) 75 66 70, J Scrivener (Aus) 73 70 68, F Aguilar (Chi) 68 71 72, B Ritthammer (Ger) 69 73 69, D Frittelli (RSA) 67 74 70, S Henry (Sco) 71 73 67, D Burmester (RSA) 70 74 67, M Manassero (Ita) 69 73 69, 

212 E Pepperell (Eng) 69 73 70, M Lorenzo-Vera (Fra) 70 73 69, O Lengden (Swe) 68 74 70, 

213 S Manley (Wal) 72 73 68, L Westwood (Eng) 70 72 71, S Soderberg (Swe) 72 71 70, N Bertasio (Ita) 70 73 70, M Foster (Eng) 70 74 69, E Van Rooyen (RSA) 69 74 70, J Dantorp (Swe) 70 70 73, J Allan (Eng) 73 69 71, 

214 A Björk (Swe) 71 73 70, J Fahrbring (Swe) 71 71 72, R McEvoy (Eng) 74 70 70, G Porteous (Eng) 70 75 69, J Rutherford (Eng) 70 74 70, R Gonzalez (Arg) 70 72 72, D Im (USA) 71 72 71, J Donaldson (Wal) 69 73 72, T Pieters (Bel) 71 71 72, K Horne (RSA) 70 75 69, J Edfors (Swe) 74 70 70, P Peterson (USA) 69 73 72, P Angles (Esp) 71 74 69, C Ford (Eng) 69 74 71, 

215 L Bjerregaard (Den) 69 74 72, C Berardo (Fra) 72 69 74, R Echenique (Arg) 70 75 70, C Braeunig (Ger) 74 70 71, J Heath (Eng) 67 78 70, T Detry (Bel) 72 71 72, R Green (Aus) 72 73 70, M Fitzpatrick (Eng) 70 72 73, S Dyson (Eng) 70 73 72, 

216 N Johansson (Swe) 74 71 71, N Cullen (Aus) 72 71 73, 

217 B Dredge (Wal) 71 74 72, M Wallace (Eng) 72 73 72, J Sjöholm (Swe) 73 70 74, J Ahlers (RSA) 68 73 76, S Tiley (Eng) 74 71 72, G Bourdy (Fra) 69 71 77, J Smith (Eng) 72 72 73, B Hebert (Fra) 72 72 73, 

218 S Khan (Eng) 69 74 75, S Lee (Kor) 69 76 73, D Perrier (Fra) 73 71 74, P Khongwatmai (Tha) 73 72 73, 

219 S Gallacher (Sco) 75 70 74, 

221 Z Lombard (RSA) 70 71 80, 

223 J Van Der Vaart (Ned) 73 72 78, 

CUT

146 R Paratore (Ita) 71 75 0, P Karmis (RSA) 68 78 0, M Nixon (Eng) 73 73 0, J Stalter (Fra) 70 76 0, G Bhullar (Ind) 70 76 0, C Pigem (Esp) 73 73 0, R Evans (Eng) 70 76 0, R Langasque (Fra) 77 69 0, M Fraser (Aus) 72 74 0, N Kimsey (Eng) 69 77 0, D Fox (Aus) 75 71 0, F Mruzek (Cze) 69 77 0, A Korinek (Cze) 75 71 0, 

147 B Rumford (Aus) 72 75 0, P Meesawat (Tha) 74 73 0, M Orrin (Eng) 75 72 0, J Guerrier (Fra) 73 74 0, S Webster (Eng) 72 75 0, W Ormsby (Aus) 72 75 0, L Canter (Eng) 75 72 0, M Kaymer (Ger) 71 76 0, J Daly (USA) 74 73 0, M Lafeber (Ned) 74 73 0, M Jonzon (Swe) 73 74 0, A Karlsson (Swe) 72 75 0, 

148 R Santos (Por) 73 75 0, R Kakko (Fin) 73 75 0, J Lima (Por) 73 75 0, M Korhonen (Fin) 74 74 0, C Lee (Sco) 68 80 0, N Fasth (Swe) 72 76 0, M Armitage (Eng) 73 75 0, K Aphibarnrat (Tha) 72 76 0, G Boyd (Eng) 77 71 0, A Rai (Eng) 72 76 0, 

149 N Holman (Aus) 76 73 0, R Dinwiddie (Eng) 74 75 0, O Farr (Wal) 75 74 0, G King (Eng) 73 76 0, E Dubois (Fra) 74 75 0, Gary Hurley (Irl) 73 76 0, C Shih-Chang (Tpe) 75 74 0, J Kruger (RSA) 72 77 0, 

150 Darren Clarke (Nir) 74 76 0, R Johnson (Swe) 77 73 0, R McCarthy (Aus) 73 77 0, B Virto (Esp) 73 77 0, L Robinson (Eng) 74 76 0, A Connelly (Can) 74 76 0, P Gal (Cze) 73 77 0, 

151 O Wilson (Eng) 77 74 0, D Brooks (Eng) 74 77 0, L Tintera (Cze) 72 79 0, J Walters (RSA) 72 79 0, D Boonma (Tha) 77 74 0, P Waring (Eng) 77 74 0, J Cafourek (Cze) 75 76 0, R Gruber (Aut) 76 75 0, 

152 P Dedek (Cze) 72 80 0, R Karlsson (Swe) 76 76 0, S Heisele (Ger) 72 80 0, C Suk (Cze) 75 77 0, 

153 O Lieser (Cze) 75 78 0, P Nic (Cze) 75 78 0, M Pospisil (Cze) 77 76 0, P Maddy (Eng) 75 78 0, 

154 S Walker (Eng) 76 78 0, P Tangkamolprasert (Tha) 71 83 0, D Stewart (Sco) 76 78 0, B Evans (Eng) 75 79 0, 

155 J Parry (Eng) 73 82 0, 

156 D Suchan (Cze) 79 77 0, P Valasek (Svk) 81 75 0, M Warren (Sco) 78 78 0, 

157 R Finch (Eng) 80 77 0, J Friesz (Svk) 82 75 0, A Chesters (Eng) 78 79 0, A Maestroni (Ita) 76 81 0, 

160 A Knappe (Ger) 77 83 0, 

161 R Kumpost (am) (Cze) 81 80 0, 

163 J Pokorny (Cze) 80 83 0, 

165 V Kostelka (am) (Cze) 85 80 0, 

166 M Zapletal (am) (Cze) 83 83 0, 

** B Etchart (Esp) 82 RT 0, F Fritsch (Ger) 73 DQ 0, D Lipsky (USA) 73 DQ 0, D Siwy (am) (Cze) 77 WD 0,