Tuesday 17 October 2017

Dubuisson powers to five-shot Turkish Open lead

Victor Dubuisson of France looks over his putt on the 10th green during the third round of the inaugural Turkish Airlines Open in the south west city of Antalya
Victor Dubuisson of France looks over his putt on the 10th green during the third round of the inaugural Turkish Airlines Open in the south west city of Antalya

Victor Dubuisson, the young Frenchman with the Hollywood actor good looks, stole the show by charging into a five-shot lead after the Turkish Airlines Open third round on Saturday.

The 23-year-old took advantage of an electrifying four-birdie start to power his way to a nine-under 63 for a 21-under total of 195 to eclipse world number one Tiger Woods, European Ryder Cup hero Ian Poulter and money-list leader Henrik Stenson.

Woods was unable to repeat his outstanding 63 from Friday and had to extracate himself from several awkward spots following some errant ball-striking on a perfect day for scoring at the Montgomerie Maxx Royal course.

Typically, though, the 14-times major champion hung in there to grind out a face-saving 68 for 201, one behind second-placed Poulter (68).

Woods flashed a trademark smile and waved his putter in the air after keeping his title hopes alive by rolling in a 20-foot birdie putt at the 18th.

Stenson, playing alongside the American for the third day running, carded a 69 to share third position with Woods, Frenchman Raphael Jacquelin (62) and Alejandro Canizares of

 Spain (66).

The bearded Jacquelin equalled the European Tour record for the most birdies in a round, reeling off 12 in his course record 62.

The 39-year-old started off like an express train as he picked up shots at each of the opening four holes.

Jacquelin produced another scintillating run of four consecutive birdies from the eighth before signing off in equally thrilling fashion with a four-birdie sequence at the 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th.

His 12-birdie haul tied the tour record held by Darren Clarke (1999) and Russell Claydon (1995), American Fred Couples (1991), South African Ernie Els (1994) and Dane Jeppe

 Huldahl (2010).

The four-times tour winner had a good chance to claim the record outright. His curling 20-footer at the 18th was right on  line but wound up just short of the hole.

Padraig Harrington is well off the lead on -7 with Shane Lowry the next best Irish player on -4.

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