Trio Tied Atop Oman Open Through 54

Expect a photo finish on Sunday at the inaugural NBO Oman Open where three players shared a portion of the lead through 54 holes.

France’s Julien Guerrier, The Netherlands’ Joost Luiten and England’s Matthew Southgate are all locked in at 12-under entering Sunday’s final round

Two players are within two shots of the lead: England’s Chris Wood is alone in fourth at 11-under and Spain’s Adrian Otaegui is in fifth at 10-under.

At one point on the back nine on Saturday, all five men were tied for the lead.  Buerrier and Southgate are both after their first-ever win on the European Tour. Neither has ever held the lead this late in the tournament.

Luiten has won five career titles, and led after 54 holes in four of them.

I know my game-plan and I know what to do around this golf course,” he said. “You need to be a bit patient and wait for your chances. If I can hit my irons like I did today, there will definitely be some birdies.”

Guerrier knows the course best, having played it four times on the Challenge Tour.

The players out here on the European Tour are really good so you have to push, always and if it’s your week, it’s your week,” he said. “Right now, it’s going well for me so we’ll see. I have to do the same tomorrow. I want to work in these conditions, under pressure, to see how I’m feeling. I’ve played a lot of years on the Challenge Tour and I’ve played a couple of years on the European Tour too and I want to stay here now!”

Southgate looked prepare to run away with the lead as he fired three straight birdies out of the gate, but gave two shots back over the next six holes. He’s had at least as share of the lead all three days, but his 69 allowed Luiten and Guerrier (both 66s) to rally back into the lead.

Southgate is paired with fourth-place Wood, who also shot a 69, on Sunday. Matthieu Pavon, the Day Two leader, bombed out with a 75 on Sunday and dropped back to 8-under, four strokes off the lead.

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