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Richard Mansell shines again to take four-shot lead into final round

Richard Mansell shines again to take four-shot lead into final round

Richard Mansell continued his brilliant form to shoot a five-under-par 67 at Carnoustie and take a four-shot lead into the final round of the 2022 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

Richard Mansell

Mansell produced heroics in terrible weather on Friday round the Old Course, St Andrews, and shone again on a bright but breezy day half an hour up the road, posting six birdies and one bogey to reach 15 under.

Alex Noren, playing at the Old Course, spent much of the round alongside Mansell at the summit but sits four back after his three-under 69, and he shares second spot with Daniel Gavins and Ryan Fox, who both produced strong finishes to their rounds at Kingsbarns Golf Links.

Mansell had led Noren by a couple of shots overnight and was three clear after birdies at the second and third cancelled out a gain at the third from his rival.

Noren closed in again by taking advantage of the par-five fifth on the Old Course, tapping in for birdie after missing a 22-feet eagle attempt.

Mansell's lead was wiped out when Noren birdied the seventh and ninth, holing putts of 21 feet and eight feet, and the Swede then turned for home 12 under and one ahead after the overnight leader failed to get up and down from a greenside bunker at the ninth.

But Noren didn't stay out on his own for long, dropping back into a share after taking three to get down from just short of the green at the par-four tenth and Mansell took full advantage, bouncing back from his dropped shot with a birdie at Carnoustie's tenth.

Alex Noren

While they slugged it out at the top, Gavins crept up the leaderboard with four birdies on the front nine at Kingsbarns, reaching 10 under.

Mansell misread his eagle putt on 12 but a birdie took him to 13 under and, for the first time in a while, the lead was two again.

He stretched it by another shot with a birdie at 14, doing well to take two putts into a stiff wind at the par-five, and when Noren took three to get down from just short of the 16th, the advantage was four.

Noren parred the road hole and signed off with a birdie, only for Mansell to make light work of the hard finish at Carnoustie, rolling in a 12-feet birdie putt at the last to earn that cushion heading into Sunday at St Andrews.

Mansell's fellow Englishman Gavins dropped his only shot of the day at the tenth but birdied 16 and 18 for a 67 while Fox finished eagle-birdie-par for a 65.

Mansell, who has three top-five finishes this year as he chases a first DP World Tour win, said: "I played really, really good. We had one bogey on nine. I hit a good shot in, and again, was just really in control of my golf ball. I've putted good.

"I did a lot of good work. Me and my coach, Mike Kanski, he's helped massively. He was here at the start of the week. And I feel really in control of my golf game right now.

"I've been in contention a lot this year and had chances on Sundays. Every time, they say in golf, that you don't lose, you learn. That's what I feel like I've done really well this year.

"Tomorrow there's a lot of golf. It's links golf, anything can happen. It's St Andrews. People can shoot 60. I'm just really focused on myself right now. I'm going to try and shoot a good score and see where it puts me. And just not worry about anyone else."

Antoine Rozner, who shot 63 at the Old Course on Thursday, and Niklas Nørgaard Møller are on ten under.

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