Tartan Tour trio in Turkey title hunt

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West Linton’s Gareth Wright, Greig Hutcheon (Paul Lawrie Golf Centre) and Graham Fox of Clydeway Golf are all in contention heading into the final round of the PGA Play-Offs.

Englishman Matt Cort made the most of the Turkish sun as he fired himself into top spot in the race for the crown.

The Beedles Lake pro was the stand-out performer during a sun-drenched third day over the PGA Sultan Course in Antalya as he sought to rectify narrowly missing out on the title two years ago.

Here his performance was determined and his card unblemished. The turning point of his round coming with significant gains around the turn where four birdies saw him leapfrog overnight leader Hutcheon into the lead.

His six-under-par round of 65 was by far the best of the day, but a congested top end of the leaderboard, which sees only two shots separating the leading five players, means there is still much work to be done going into the final round.

Cort currently sits one shot clear at the top with a six-under-par three round total of 207, but can count PGA Cup player Wright, Colm Moriarty (Drive Golf Performance) and two-time champion Hutcheon among those challenging him for the honour of being crowned PGA No 1.

Wright is sitting second on five-under after a 68; Hutcheon (70) is joint-third on four-under and Fox is two shots further back following a 69.

In reality any one of the top six could potentially launch a bid for the lead on what promises to be a tense and dramatic final day.

“I felt I played well today,” Cort explained. “I had four birdies on the bounce which really got me going and then I had a few good chances on the way in and narrowly missed an eagle chance.

“It was nice to get a bit of sun after the first couple of days. This is what it’s been like the last couple of years for us.

“But I’m glad to be in contention going into the final day. There’s some very good players out there though, and no doubt there will be plenty of chances for those guys out there over the course of tomorrow.”

Second-placed Wright, meanwhile, was contemplating his own route to the title.

“I think looking out there anyone from three or four back is going to fancy their chances tomorrow,” he said.

“You saw what happened today with Matthew, he went out there, shot a good score and now he’s in the lead.

“The greens are really tricky and I think tomorrow the winner is going to have to hole their putts. That’s going to be key.”

The scene is also set for battles further down the field as a bunched up leaderboard means that several players are very much in contention for a place in the top 10, and with it a place in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, subject to confirmation of the European Tour’s schedule.

Among them are PGA Cup players Cameron Clark (Moor Hall) and Paul Hendriksen (Ivybridge), level-par and one-over respectively, and PGA Assistants’ champion Jack Harrison (Wildwood), who sits level with David Salisbury (Three Rivers) on one-over-par.

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