Luiten moves ahead by 2 in Austria

 

The Sports Network

Atzenbrugg, Austria (SportsNetwork.com) - Joost Luiten fired a 6-under 66 on Saturday to move into a 2-shot lead of the Lyoness Open.

Luiten, the defending champion, finished three rounds at Diamond Country Club at 11-under-par 205. He is searching for his fourth career victory on the European Tour.

"I'm happy, 66 is good," said Luiten. "It could have been a bit lower as I was playing really well, especially the first 12 holes, but it's been a really good day. I've been playing consistently and hitting some good shots and making some good putts."

Bernd Wiesberger also shot 66 to jump into second place at 9-under, while Fabrizio Zanotti (72) is alone in third at 7-under and Adam Gee (70) owns fourth at minus-6.

David Horsey set a new course record with a 7-under 65 to vault into a share of fifth place at 5-under-par 211. He is joined by second-round leader Mikael Lundberg (76), Matthew Baldwin (70), Simon Wakefield (70) and Sihwan Kim (73).

Lundberg entered the first round with a 1-stroke advantage, but tripped to a double-bogey at the third to fall to 7-under and hand Slattery the lead at minus-8.

Lundberg bounced back with a birdie at the fourth to regain a share of the lead, and Luiten made it a three-way tie atop the leaderboard with birdies at the first, third and sixth.

Wiesberger, meanwhile, recorded birdies at the first, fourth, seventh, ninth and 10th to also earn a share of the lead, but then bogeyed the 11th to fall back to 7-under.

Luiten birdied the eighth, while Slattery and Lundberg both birdied the seventh to all reach 9-under before Luiten made it two gains in a row at the ninth to claim sole possession of first place.

He was handed a 2-shot lead when Slattery and Lundberg both bogeyed the eighth to dip to 8-under. Slattery fell further back with a bogey at the ninth and was replaced in second by Wiesberger, who birdied the 13th to get back to minus-8.

After Lundberg fell off the pace with bogeys at Nos. 10 and 12, Luiten dropped a shot at the 14th to fall to 9-under and cut his advantage over Wiesberger to just a stroke.

Luiten birdied the 15th to get back to 10-under, but Wiesberger closed his round with a 20-foot birdie putt at the 18th to end at minus-9 and remain within a shot of the lead.

The Austrian would fall further behind by the end of the day, however, as Luiten converted a 40-foot birdie putt at the 17th to move to 11-under before parring the last to hold a 2-shot lead heading into the final round.

"I am in a good position, so I just want to finish it off tomorrow and see if we can win again here," Luiten said. "I know Bernd is a good player so it will be a very good battle and there are a few more guys behind who are not out of it yet."

Horsey's record-setting round included five straight birdies during his front nine. He had eight total birdies and a bogey on the day.

NOTES: Luiten is trying to become the first payer to successfully defend his title at this event ... Wiesberger is a two-time winner on the European Tour, collecting the titles at the Ballantine's Championship and Lyoness Open in 2012.

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Runner up: Steve Webster, David Higgins 2012: Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (264). Runner up: Garth Mulroy 2011: Robert Rock (267). Runner up: Gary Boyd, Thorbjorn Olesen 2010: Fredrik Andersson Hed (272). Runner up: David Horsey 2009: Daniel Vancsik (267). Runner up: Raphael Jacquelin, John Daly, Robert Rock 2008: Hennie Otto (263). Runner up: Oliver Wilson 2007: *#Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (200). Runner up: Markus Brier 2006: Francesco Molinari (265). Runner up: Anders Hansen, Jarmo Sandelin 2005: Steve Webster (270). Runner up: Anders Hansen, Bradley Dredge, Richard Finch 2004: *#Graeme McDowell (197). Runner up: Thomas Levet 2003: Mathias Gronberg (271). Runner up: Jose Manuel Lara, Colin Montgomerie, Ricardo Gonzalez 2002: #Ian Poulter (197). Runner up: Paul Lawrie 2001: Gregory Havret (268). Runner up: Bradley Dredge 2000: Ian Poulter (267). Runner up: Gordon Brand, Jr. 1999: Dean Robertson (271). Runner up: Padraig Harrington 1998: #Patrik Sjoland (195). Runner up: Jose Maria Olazabal, Joakim Haeggman 1997: Bernhard Langer (273). Runner up: Jose Maria Olazabal 1996: Jim Payne (275). Runner up: Patrik Sjoland 1995: Sam Torrance (269). Runner up: Jose Rivero 1994: Eduardo Romero (272). Runner up: Greg Turner 1993: Greg Turner (267). Runner up: Jose Coceres 1992: Sandy Lyle (270). Runner up: Colin Montgomerie 1991: Craig Parry (279). Runner up: Ian Woosnam 1990: Richard Boxall (267). Runner up: Jose Maria Olazabal 1989: Ronan Rafferty (273). Runner up: Sam Torrance 1988: Greg Norman (270). Runner up: Craig Parry 1987: *Sam Torrance (271). Runner up: Jose Rivero 1986: *David Feherty (270). Runner up: Ronan Rafferty 1985: Manuel Pinero (267). Runner up: Sam Torrance 1984: Sandy Lyle (277). Runner up: Bobby Clampett 1983: *Bernhard Langer (271). Runner up: Seve Ballesteros, Ken Brown 1982: Mark James (280). Runner up: Ian Woosnam, Bobby Clampett 1981: *Jose Maria Canizares (280). Runner up: Bobby Clampett 1980: Massimo Mannelli (276). 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