WOBURN, England (AP) — England’s Matthew Fitzpatrick shot a 3-under 68 Saturday to maintain his place atop the British Masters leaderboard after the third round, but was joined in the lead by Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat.
Fitzpatrick has led since day one, while Kiradech shot a flawless 67 to join him on a 12-under total of 201.
The 21-year-old Fitzpatrick is pursuing his maiden victory in his first full season on The European Tour, while Kiradech has already won twice this season, at the Shenzhen International and the Paul Lawrie Match Play.
”I made a lot of putts on the front nine but the iron play was not as sharp,” Kiradech said. ”I’m looking forward to playing tomorrow. If you keep the ball in play on the fairways, you can keep the score low.”
As for Fitzpatrick, he wants to land his first tournament title with a wire-to-wire victory.
”Some great names have won wire-to-wire and it would be nice to add mine to that,” Fitzpatrick said. ”It was obviously something in the back of my mind but I’m just bothered about hopefully playing good golf and we’ll see.”
Denmark’s Soren Kjeldsen started the day tied for the lead with Fitzpatrick but a 69 dropped him to third alongside Paraguay’s Fabrizio Zanotti, one shot behind the leaders.
England’s Luke Donald carded the round of the day with a 65 to rise 28 places. The former top-ranked Donald is tied for fifth on 9 under and is looking for his first victory on the European Tour since the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth in 2012.
”I felt I was hitting the ball really well,” Donald said. ”It is always nice to keep a five off the scorecard. I put myself in great positions. I’d love to go out there and shoot another round like this, I think that might be good enough.
”I would just like to win any tournament to be honest, but it would be a little more special in the U.K.”
Bridgestone Invitational winner Shane Lowry is also in contention on the same score as Donald after shooting 69.