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Luiten moves ahead by 2 in Austria
Atzenbrugg, Austria (SportsNetwork.com) - Joost Luiten fired a 6-under 66 on Saturday to move into a 2-shot lead of the Lyoness Open.
Luiten, the defending champion, finished three rounds at Diamond Country Club at 11-under-par 205. He is searching for his fourth career victory on the European Tour.
"I'm happy, 66 is good," said Luiten. "It could have been a bit lower as I was playing really well, especially the first 12 holes, but it's been a really good day. I've been playing consistently and hitting some good shots and making some good putts."
Bernd Wiesberger also shot 66 to jump into second place at 9-under, while Fabrizio Zanotti (72) is alone in third at 7-under and Adam Gee (70) owns fourth at minus-6.
David Horsey set a new course record with a 7-under 65 to vault into a share of fifth place at 5-under-par 211. He is joined by second-round leader Mikael Lundberg (76), Matthew Baldwin (70), Simon Wakefield (70) and Sihwan Kim (73).
Lundberg entered the first round with a 1-stroke advantage, but tripped to a double-bogey at the third to fall to 7-under and hand Slattery the lead at minus-8.
Lundberg bounced back with a birdie at the fourth to regain a share of the lead, and Luiten made it a three-way tie atop the leaderboard with birdies at the first, third and sixth.
Wiesberger, meanwhile, recorded birdies at the first, fourth, seventh, ninth and 10th to also earn a share of the lead, but then bogeyed the 11th to fall back to 7-under.
Luiten birdied the eighth, while Slattery and Lundberg both birdied the seventh to all reach 9-under before Luiten made it two gains in a row at the ninth to claim sole possession of first place.
He was handed a 2-shot lead when Slattery and Lundberg both bogeyed the eighth to dip to 8-under. Slattery fell further back with a bogey at the ninth and was replaced in second by Wiesberger, who birdied the 13th to get back to minus-8.
After Lundberg fell off the pace with bogeys at Nos. 10 and 12, Luiten dropped a shot at the 14th to fall to 9-under and cut his advantage over Wiesberger to just a stroke.
Luiten birdied the 15th to get back to 10-under, but Wiesberger closed his round with a 20-foot birdie putt at the 18th to end at minus-9 and remain within a shot of the lead.
The Austrian would fall further behind by the end of the day, however, as Luiten converted a 40-foot birdie putt at the 17th to move to 11-under before parring the last to hold a 2-shot lead heading into the final round.
"I am in a good position, so I just want to finish it off tomorrow and see if we can win again here," Luiten said. "I know Bernd is a good player so it will be a very good battle and there are a few more guys behind who are not out of it yet."
Horsey's record-setting round included five straight birdies during his front nine. He had eight total birdies and a bogey on the day.
NOTES: Luiten is trying to become the first payer to successfully defend his title at this event ... Wiesberger is a two-time winner on the European Tour, collecting the titles at the Ballantine's Championship and Lyoness Open in 2012.
06/07 12:28:27 ET
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