Andy Sullivan and Tommy Fleetwood one off lead at Open de France
By Mathieu Wood
Last Updated: 02/07/17 7:57pm
Andy Sullivan and Tommy Fleetwood lie just one shot off the lead heading into the final round at the Open de France.
Sullivan fired himself into contention with a three-under par back nine helping him to seven-under par while his compatriot Fleetwood was unable to build upon yesterday's impressive 68, carding a level-par 71 in challenging conditions.
Fleetwood, 26, who won his second European Tour title in Abu Dhabi in January, said: "It's been a great year so far, but you have to keep it going, don't you?
"I've said it all the time this year, but when you've had a year of struggling, you really do appreciate being in contention on a Sunday. It doesn't get any better than this; these events, great players, great course, Sunday, trying to win it."
Peter Uihlein, who is targeting his second European Tour victory, posted a 71 which proved good enough for him to share a narrow lead with Sweden's Alexander Björk going into tomorrow's final day.
Björk shot a one-under par 70 to secure a spot in the final grouping and will be buoyed by making three birdies on his back nine in response to a two-over par front nine.
Ryder Cup star Thomas Pieters, who is in the pack just one off the lead, recovered from a bogey six at the par five ninth to come in over the final nine holes with three birdies.
Pieters lost his frustration after hitting his tee shot at the par five ninth into the water with the 25-year-old Belgian snapping his driver as a result.
"I wasn't trying to break my driver at all," Pieters said. "Me and my caddie, we kind of laughed because I just put it in my bag and I think there's maybe a soft spot in the shaft or something.
"I didn't put it in with a lot of force and it broke. I mean, it's my own fault and to have to play the back nine on this golf course without a driver, it's not easy.
"I definitely took some penalty for that. I didn't hit a lot of fairways and left myself long second shots, which wasn't fun. I was swinging it very badly. Thank God I putted well."
Wales' Bradley Dredge, chasing a spot at the Open later this month, put himself into the mix with a two-under par 69 which leaves him at six-under.
Ross Fisher, the world No 49, had to settle for a level-par 71 which keeps him at five-under par which is where Spain's Adrian Otaegui, who shared a lead at the midweek point of the tournament, ended the day after a three-over par 74.
England's Paul Waring, who had held a two-shot lead after round one, is also at the same mark following a one-over par 72 on Saturday.
Ian Poulter, who remains without a spot at the Open carded a level-par third round 71 to stay at one-under par for the tournament while last year's champion Thongchai Jaidee and two-time major winner Martin Kaymer struggled carding a 75 and 77 respectively.
Meanwhile, Chris Wood struggled to a third round 79 to lie eight over par before withdrawing from the tournament due to injury.
Shame to WD from the French open today, but a wrist injury picked up in practice last week just got worse last couple of days.— Chris Wood (@Chris3Wood) July 1, 2017
This week's tournament is the latest in The Open Qualifying Series, with three players finishing in the top 10 and ties who aren't already exempt for next month's major booking their place at Royal Birkdale.
Watch the final round of the Open de France live on Sky Sports 4 - your home of golf. Live coverage begins on Sunday from 12.30pm