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Matthew Zions opens three shot lead
June 18, 2011

Matthew Zions of Australia shot a 4-under 67 to build a three-stroke lead after the third round of the Saint-Omer Open on Saturday.

Looking for his first victory on the European Tour, the 32-year-old Zions had consecutive birdies on the last two holes for a total of 6-under 207.

“It was fantastic,” Zions said. “It’s so windy out there that it’s borderline not being able to play. But I hit it great and putted amazingly. Everyone’s going to make bogeys, you have to accept that. You just have to give yourself a chance to make par and avoid any big numbers.”

George Coetzee of South Africa, who led after the first round, shared second place with Italian Federico Colombo and England’s Daniel Denison.

Overnight co-leaders Craig Lee of Scotland and Italian Andrea Perrino shot 74 and 75 respectively to stand at 2-under and 1-under.

Zions, who is leading a European Tour event going into the last round for the first time, made up for his three bogeys with seven birdies and said he improved his putting during the first three days of the tournament.

“On this course you don’t have to play perfect golf,” he said. “It’s not about hitting fairways and greens and hitting it stiff every time. You can make pars and birdies from some totally un-textbook positions.”

Coetzee could have finished the day even closer to Zions but had a double bogey on the 16th hole.

“I played the hole perfectly but had the most impossible putt in the world on the 16th,” he said. “It was only two feet but it was downhill and with a crosswind and I just tried to lag it in, but it missed and just kept trickling miles past, and I missed the return.”

Scores

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