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Tough test on the links

Trio weather storm to tie for Scottish Open lead

Ian Poulter, Callum Shinkwin and Andrew Dodt stayed calm amongst the storm to stay at the top of the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open leaderboard after the third round.

On a tough day on Dundonald Links, Poulter and Dodt managed to post scores of one-under-par 71, while Shinkwin carded a level-par 72 to share the nine-under lead.

All three leaders are looking to win the European Tour’s fourth Rolex Series event – Poulter is keen to add to his 14 world-wide titles for the first time since 2012 and complete his comeback to the very top level, while Dodt and Shinkwin are eyeing what would be a life-changing victory which would guarantee them a place in the Open Championship at Birkdale next week.

Andy Sullivan had taken advantage of the ‘easier’ conditions earlier in the day to produce a fine 67, including and eagle 3 on the 18th, to charge up the leaderboard and into fourth place on seven under.

Kiwi Ryan Fox, Irishman Paul Dunne and Sweden’s Johan Carlsson are a shot further back on six under, with Ryder Cup stars Graeme McDowell, Rafa Cabrera Bello, Matt Kuchar and Rickie Fowler joining the nine-strong group of players on five under.

Overnight leader Padraig Harrington saw his hopes of victory blown away in the Ayrshire winds, the Irishman slumping to a 79 to drop seven shots off the pace.

“I’m pretty happy. I think I would have signed for that before the day started,” said Poulter.

“We knew the conditions were going to be really tough today. I didn’t think it would be quite as bad as it was.

“I just need to finish one in front of everyone else. Obviously I’m a leaderboard watcher. I will go out there and do the best I can. I’ll be aggressive to the pin locations that I feel are accessible, and just go and have some fun.

“I’m in a good mental state. Obviously a few months back, things were pretty difficult but life’s a little bit easier right now and obviously I’m enjoying my golf.

“I feel good, I feel great, I feel excited to be in this position, and obviously I relish the opportunity tomorrow to try to put my hand on that trophy.”

LEADERBOARD

207 C Shinkwin (Eng) 67 68 72, A Dodt (Aus) 67 69 71, I Poulter (Eng) 67 69 71.

209 A Sullivan (Eng) 70 72 67.

210 J Carlsson (Swe) 73 69 68, P Dunne (Irl) 68 73 69, R Fox (Nzl) 72 69 69.

211 G McDowell (Nir) 75 68 68, A Wall (Eng) 71 71 69, A Johnston (Eng) 73 68 70, R Fowler (USA) 67 70 74, A Knappe (Ger) 70 65 76, R Bland (Eng) 69 74 68, R Cabrera Bello (Esp) 70 72 69, M Kuchar (USA) 68 70 73, B Ritthammer (Ger) 72 69 70.

SELECTED OTHERS

214 R Ramsay (Sco) 68 74 72, P Harrington (Irl) 67 68 79.

216 H Stenson (Swe) 72 69 75.

218 A Scott (Aus) 69 71 78.

219 D Stewart (Sco) 71 70 78, S Gallacher (Sco) 68 72 79.

223 L Donald (Eng) 70 72 81.

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