Garth Mulroy will start the final day of the Italian Open in the lead but he has a host of Spaniards breathing down his neck.
Garth Mulroy will start the final day of the BMW Italian Open in the lead but he has a host of Spaniards breathing down his neck.
The 34-year-old, whose only previous win on the European Tour was at the 2011 Alfred Dunhill Championship, carded a six-under-par 66 to move to a total of 17-under 199.
Four birdies in five holes from the sixth and two more on the back nine at 13th and 18th helped the South African to edge ahead at Royal Park I Roveri.
Mulroy, though, has three Spaniards hot on his heels as Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (67) is just one shot off his pace with Rafa Cabrera-Bello (65) and Pablo Larrazabal (66) a further stroke adrift.
“I said on the first day the course reminds me a lot of a South African course,” Mulroy told europeantour.com. “The trees, the shape, and the ball goes a little further too.
“I haven’t played so well this year. It would be a big thing to win on mainland Europe, especially with the purse here and the two-year exemption. I don’t win very often so I’d take any win.
“I’ve played quite a bit with Gonzalo. We’ve been drawn together a few times and have played together a few more at the weekend. I enjoy it and I like his caddie too, he’s a funny guy. I feel very comfortable out there.”
Fernandez-Castano had a mixed day as his seven birdies were accompanied by four bogeys.
“I played well but I had a few unforced errors which cost me a few shots,” he said.
“But two birdies to finish on the last two holes has put me back in contention and I’m in a great position for tomorrow.”
Ryder Cup team-mates Nicolas Colsaerts, who held the clubhouse lead earlier in the day, and Martin Kaymer carded a 65 and a 67 respectively to find themselves in a six-way tie for fifth alongside overnight leader Richard Bland, Gregory Bourdy, Phillip Price and Matteo Manassero.
Justin Rose has everything to play for as he heads into the final round of the DP World Tour Championship with a one stroke lead.