Otto maintains lead in Italy


The Sports Network

Turin, Italy ( - Hennie Otto carded a third-round, 1-under 71 on Saturday and he maintained his lead heading into the final day at the Italian Open.

Otto, who entered the day with a 3-stroke lead over Bernd Wiesberger, finished 54 holes at 16-under-par 200 and he now holds a 2-shot advantage over Richie Ramsay at Circolo Golf Torino.

Seeking his third win on the European Tour, Otto won this event back in 2008. His last victory came at the 2011 South African Open Championship, an event that Otto finished tied for second in earlier this season.

Ramsay fired a solid, bogey-free 66 to vault into second place at 14-under 202. Wiesberger, who shared the first-round lead with Francesco Molinari, also shot a 71 and he remains three shots back at minus-13.

Lee Slattery (67) and Ross Fisher (70) are tied for fourth at 11-under 205, while Stephen Gallacher, the only player who can secure an automatic spot on the European Ryder Cup team this week with a win or second-place finish, shot a 69 and is at minus-10.

Molinari, the 2006 winner at this event, shot a 3-under 69 and he is tied for seventh at 9-under with S.S.P. Chowrasia (66), David Howell (67) and Joost Luiten (70).

Otto's third round was full of ups and downs as he battled a stiff back throughout most of the day. He started on a good note at the first when he rolled in a birdie putt to extend his lead even further. Otto gave that shot back two holes later, however, as he tripped to a bogey on No. 3.

After back-to-back pars, Otto drained another birdie at six to get back into red numbers for the day. Otto lost a lot of momentum as he made a mess of the par-5 ninth and he had to settle for a double-bogey.

Otto got one of those shots back right away with a birdie on 10. He poured in another gain at 12 to get back to minus-1 for his round. Following two more pars, Otto made his fifth birdie on 15, but he tripped to another bogey at 16. He finished his day with back-to-back pars to end at 1-under.

"It was a rough day to be honest," Otto said. "My back started to tighten after eight holes, but I managed to get it round even though I couldn't swing it properly. I got a little lucky at times as well, but you need that in this game if you are going to win a tournament."

Beginning the day seven shots behind Otto, Ramsay coasted out of the gate with two straight pars. He followed with three birdies in four holes from No. 3, with the par coming at No. 5.

Ramsay made the turn with another gain at nine, putting him at 4-under for the round. After another pair of pars, Ramsay drained his fifth birdie at No. 12. He finished things off with five straight pars before making his sixth birdie at the last to end his bogey-free day at 6-under.

Wiesberger had a quiet front nine with just one birdie at No. 8. He played the back nine at even-par, making birdies at 15 and 18 to go along with his first two bogeys of the week at 10 and 16.

Gallacher, who made four birdies and one bogey in his third round, is just happy to have a shot at a first- or second-place finish heading into the final round.

"It keeps me in touching distance," Gallacher said. "The worst thing I could have done was open up a big gap which was insurmountable. I've not done that so a good day on Sunday and I am still right in there. I had about four lip- outs today, but they went in on Friday and I holed a couple of good putts at the end so it evens itself out."

NOTES: Ramsay is a two-time winner on tour, with his last win coming at the 2012 European Masters ... Otto won the 2008 Italian Open at 25-under-par 263 ... Gallacher entered this week 11th in Ryder Cup world points and 12th on the European points list.

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  • PGA European - ISPS Handa Wales Open Preview

    Thursday, September 18th through Sunday, September 21st Course Info Site: The Celtic Manor Resort (Twenty Ten Course), Newport, Wales Course Architect: Robert Trent Jones Jr. (1995), Ross McMurray (2007) Par: 71 Yardage: 7,378 Hole by Hole Front Nine: 36 3,812 Yds 1 - Par 4 465 Yds 2 - Par 5 610 Yds 3 - Par 3 189 Yds 4 - Par 4 461 Yds 5 - Par 4 433 Yds 6 - Par 4 422 Yds 7 - Par 3 213 Yds 8 - Par 4 439 Yds 9 - Par 5 580 Yds Back Nine: 35 3,566 Yds 10 - Par 3 210 Yds 11 - Par 5 562 Yds 12 - Par 4 458 Yds 13 - Par 3 189 Yds 14 - Par 4 485 Yds 15 - Par 4 377 Yds 16 - Par 4 499 Yds 17 - Par 3 211 Yds 18 - Par 5 575 Yds Tournament Info Year: 15th Television: Golf Channel - Thursday -- 5:30-8:30 a.m. (et), 10 a.m.-1 p.m.(et) - Friday -- 6-8:30 a.m. (et), 10 a.m.-1 p.m. (et), - Saturday -- 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (et), - Sunday -- 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (et) Champion: Gregory Bourdy Runner Up: Peter Uihlein Tournament Record: 54-Hole Record: 36-Hole Record: Course Record: 62 (Rhys Davies, 2010) Total Purse: $2,929,117 (1,800,000 pounds) Shares: 2013 Final Leaderboard Gregory Bourdy 276 Peter Uihlein 278 Soren Kjeldsen 279 Joost Luiten 281 John Parry 281 Damien McGrane 282 Graeme Storm 282 Seven players at 283 Past Winners 2013: Gregory Bourdy (276). Runner up: Peter Uihlein 2012: Thongchai Jaidee (278). Runner up: Thomas Bjorn, Richard Sterne, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, Joost Luiten 2011: Alexander Noren (275). Runner up: Anders Hansen, Gregory Bourdy 2010: Graeme McDowell (269). Runner up: Rhys Davies 2009: Jeppe Huldahl (275). Runner up: Niclas Fasth 2008: Scott Strange (262). Runner up: Robert Karlsson 2007: Richard Sterne (263). Runner up: Mardan Mamat, Mads Vibe-Hastrup, Soren Kjeldsen, Bradley Dredge 2006: Robert Karlsson (260). Runner up: Paul Broadhurst 2005: Miguel Angel Jimenez (262). Runner up: Martin Erlandsson, Jose Manuel Lara 2004: *Simon Khan (267). Runner up: Paul Casey 2003: Ian Poulter (270). Runner up: Darren Fichardt, Jarrod Moseley, Jonathan Lomas 2002: Paul Lawrie (272). Runner up: John Bickerton 2001: #*Paul McGinley (138). Runner up: Daren Lee, Paul Lawrie 2000: Steen Tinning (273). Runner up: David Howell # - Rain Shortened * - Won in Playoff Formerly known as Celtic Manor Wales Open (2000-10), Saab Wales Open (2011). Top Contenders Gregory Bourdy 2004: 2005: wd 2006: mc 2007: T-14 2008: T-21 2009: T-10 2010: T-39 2011: T-2 2012: T-14 2013: Won Peter Uihlein 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: 2008: 2009: 2010: 2011: 2012: 2013: 2nd Joost Luiten 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: 2008: 2009: 2010: 2011: 2012: T-2 2013: T-4 Simon Dyson 2004: 2005: wd 2006: T-7 2007: mc 2008: mc 2009: T-6 2010: T-18 2011: T-20 2012: 2013: T-18 Thongchai Jaidee 2004: 2005: 2006: T-42 2007: wd 2008: T-39 2009: T-26 2010: 2011: mc 2012: Won 2013: T-26 Thomas Bjorn 2004: 2005: wd 2006: 2007: 2008: T-21 2009: T-43 2010: T-9 2011: mc 2012: T-2 2013: T-58 Thorbjorn Olesen 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: 2008: 2009: 2010: 2011: T-50 2012: T-18 2013: mc Francesco Molinari 2004: 2005: wd 2006: 2007: mc 2008: T-4 2009: mc 2010: T-56 2011: 2012: T-46 2013: mc Simon Khan 2004: Won 2005: T-73 2006: mc 2007: T-35 2008: mc 2009: T-21 2010: mc 2011: T-37 2012: T-48 2013: mc Stephen Gallacher 2004: T-34 2005: T-60 2006: T-34 2007: T-20 2008: T-58 2009: mc 2010: T-4 2011: mc 2012: T-42 2013: wd Jamie Donaldson 2004: 2005: T-54 2006: T-64 2007: 2008: T-15 2009: mc 2010: T-46 2011: T-8 2012: wd 2013: Paul Casey 2004: 2nd 2005: 2006: 2007: 2008: 2009: 2010: 2011: 2012: 2013: Lee Westwood 2004: mc 2005: 2006: 2007: 2008: 2009: 2010: 2011: 2012: 2013: NOTES: Gregory Bourdy will try to become the first back-to-back winner of this event, as he defends his title this week at the 15th installment of the ISPS Handa Wales Open. Seven of the top-50 players in the world are in the field - Welshman Jamie Donaldson (28), Thomas Bjorn (30), Stephen Gallacher (34), Lee Westwood (41), Thongchai Jaidee (42), Joost Luiten (48) and Francesco Molinari (49).

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