Date: June 15, 2008

Nilsson sets Saint-Omer pace

Christian Nilsson consolidated his lead at the top of the Saint-Omer Open leaderboard after carding a solid one-under-par 70 in the third round on Saturday. The Swede, who equalled the course record with a stunning seven-under 64 on Friday, leads Englishman Robert Coles and Francois Delamontagne, who shot 66 and 67 respectively, by two shots going into Sunday&aposs final round. That lead could have been even greater had he not double-bogeyed the penultimate hole, but a nine-foot putt on the 18th ensured his third birdie of the day and restored his two-shot advantage. The Australian contingent in France has plenty of work to do if there&aposs going to be a challenger come from that pack. Scott Barr shot a 72 to be three-over-par, seven shots off the pace. Terry Pilkadaris is two shots further back after a round of 75 while David Bransdon is 11 strokes from the leader courtesy of his third-round 75. Apart from the Swedish frontrunner, Belgian Nicola Vanhootegem and Wales&apos Liam Bond are the only other players bettering par on one-under after rounds of 69 and 70 respectively. Nilsson, 29, parred every hole on the front nine and then accelerated on the way back, firing back-to-back birdies on the 11th and 12th. He had not dropped a shot for 34 holes until the par-three 17th ended that run, but he finished on a high to sit four under going into the final round. “I was really happy to finish like that after what happened on the 17th,” said Nilsson, who is chasing his first European Tour win. “I had a long, tough putt, which I overhit and had to chip back but I needed to let it go, forget about it and I did.” “I&aposm feeling really good. My game from tee to green was great.” “Tomorrow is going to be a similar experience to today so hopefully I&aposm prepared for it.” Third Round of the Saint Omer Open (Par 71): -4: Christian Nilsson 75 64 70 -2: Robert Coles 74 71 66, Francois Delamontagne 72 72 67 -1: Liam Bond 73 69 70, Nicolas Vanhootegem 74 69 69 E: David Dixon 77 67 69, Steven O Hara 74 69 70 +1: Richard Bland 78 69 67, Roope Kakko 68 74 71, Cesar Monasterio 71 73 70, John E Morgan 69 72 73, Richard Treis 73 71 70 +2: Seve Benson 71 72 72, Sebastien Delagrange 75 72 68, Marcus Higley 69 75 71, Mikko Korhonen 69 73 73, Jan-Are Larsen 70 73 72, Gareth Paddison (New Zealand) 71 75 69 Also: +3: Scott Barr (Australia) 73 71 72 +5: Steve Alker (New Zealand) 74 72 72, Terry Pilkadaris (Australia) 73 70 75 +7: David Bransdon (Australia) 72 73 75