Paul Waring and Thomas Aiken share Nordea Masters lead
Thorbjorn Olesen three off the pace in joint-third place
Last Updated: 18/08/18 7:16pm
England's Paul Waring and Thomas Aiken of South Africa share the lead going into the final round of the Nordea Masters in Gothenburg.
The duo, who are both battling to save their European Tour cards for next year, ended up on 12-under 198 after 54 holes at Hills Golf Club and three clear of their nearest challengers.
Denmark's Thorbjorn Olesen heads the chasing pack on nine under as he remains firmly in contention for a victory which could cement his place in Europe's Ryder Cup team.
Marc Warren of Scotland, the 2006 champion and another man fighting to retain his card, is also on nine under after firing a four-under 66, a score which was matched by Germany's Maximilian Kieffer who is in sole possession of fifth place on eight under.
World No 330 Waring, who is seeking his first European Tour win in his 200th event, started the day in a tie for the lead on 11 under with Scott Jamieson and made a steady start with birdies at the fifth and 10th.
He dropped his first shot of the day at the 12th hole after finding the water and at that point found himself two behind the charging Aiken.
Aiken, who is 461st in the world rankings, teed off two behind the leaders but turned in just 32 thanks to four birdies and his fifth birdie at the 12th - after chipping over the water for a superb up-and-down - put him firmly in command.
The 35-year-old has three European Tour victories to his name but the last of those came in 2014, and he faltered over the closing holes with three successive bogeys from the 15th, the last of them after he missed a short par putt at the 17th.
Waring, meanwhile, holed a tricky 20-foot downhill putt to birdie the 17th and it was his turn to briefly lead by two before Aiken birdied the 18th for a three-under 67 to halve his advantage.
There was still some late drama to come for the 33-year-old, though, when his second shot at the par-five 18th ended up behind a small rock, forcing him to take a penalty drop and, after two further free drops, he eventually bogeyed the hole - there was around 15 minutes between his second and sixth shots - to slip back alongside Aiken with a one-under 69.
"I'd have snatched your hand off for a 69 coming in at the start of the day," said Waring. "It'll be nice to be in that situation, last group on a Sunday, it's all you ever ask for."
Olesen produced a mixed bag on the front nine with a bogey, a double-bogey and three birdies, but a flawless back nine featuring three birdies left him with a 67 and handily placed for his second win of the season following his Italian Open success.
"I would love to be a couple of shots closer but it looks like I still have a chance," Olesen said. "So I'm going to go out there tomorrow and hopefully I can play like I did on the back nine and yesterday and give myself a lot of chances."
Warren's 66 included a run of four successive birdies from the ninth, but his fellow Scot Jamieson struggled to a five-over 75, which included four bogeys on the front nine and three straight bogeys from the 13th, as he slumped back to six under and a share of ninth place.
Robert Rock is also six under after a five-under 65 saw him storm up the leaderboard, and his best-of-the-day score was equalled by fellow Englishman Matthew Southgate who is one further back overall.
Australian duo Lucas Herbert (69) and Adam Bland (69) are tied for sixth place on seven under with England's Lee Slattery (70).
Martin Kaymer's hopes of returning to the winners' circle were ended by a disastrous back nine where he made five bogeys to sign for a 75 and slump to one under and a tie for 32nd place.