After watching a pair of European Tour rookies take center stage for the first two rounds of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, Norway’s Thorbjorn Olesen took control of the top of the leaderboard on Saturday, firing a 7-under 65 to open a three-stroke advantage through 54 holes.
After bogeying the first hole, Olesen reeled off four birdies in six holes between No. 3 and No. 8, then closed in furious fashion, four birdies in his final five holes.
Olesen is 17-under for the tournament, and has been marvelous on the back nine, shooting a combined 12-under over three days on No. 10 – 18.
The lead is three over Germany’s Florian Fritsch, who was even hotter than Olesen on Saturday, firing an 8-under 64 in which he was 6-under on the front nine with four birdies and an eagle.
France’s Benjamin Hebert is third at 13-under after firing his second straight 67. Four other players are five strokes back, tied at 12-under.
Tour rookies Paul Dunne and Jimmy Mullen came crashing back down to earth on Saturday, getting a stern lesson in just why it’s so tough to actually win a professional tournament on the highest level.
Dunne dropped to a tie for 13th with an even-par 72, riding a rollercoaster the entire round that saw him 2-over at the turn before running off four straight birdies on the back nine. The birdie string was was broken by consecutive bogeys to give back half of those shots.
Mullen, who shared the lead on Days 1 and 2, struggled to a 2-over 74, with five bogeys after only hitting four in his first two rounds.
As is its tradition, the field was cut with the top 60 with that cut at 6-under entering the final round.