Thorbjørn Olesen will take a three-shot lead into the final round of the Sicilian Open after a brilliant 67 in windy conditions on the third day.

At the start of the round just five shots separated the 65 players who made the cut, which meant ‘moving day’ was always going to be an important one.

Olesen sets up chance for first European Tour win

The Dane still hasn’t won on the European Tour, but he did have three runner-up finishes in his rookie season last year.

“I struggled a little bit on the front nine, but managed to hang in there and was pleased to pick up two shots after making a bogey on the sixth hole. That got me going a little bit and I was able to take a few more chances on the back nine.

“Sometimes the gusts were so strong, especially on the coast, that you just got blown away. It was tough just to stand up sometimes, let alone play golf.”

To put Olesen’s 67 into perspective, only 18 players were able to break par.

Canadian Andrew Parr, who also shot 67, shares second place with Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts.

Olesen has been in good form, having got two top-ten finishes in six starts this year

 “I know that I’m going to have to play very well tomorrow, because there are a lot of great players up there and you can’t win on The European Tour by playing average golf,” he added.

“My confidence is very high at the moment because of the way I’m playing, and hopefully I can finish the job off. With a bit of luck, the wind will be a little calmer tomorrow. Either way, my short game is going to have to very good.”

South African Sicilian Open third round performance

Garth Mulroy is the leading South African on 5 under and will start the final round seven shots behind the leader.

Alex Haindl is three shots behind him after a second 74 in a row, Tjaart van der Walt shot a dreadful 81 to finish 4 over for the tournament.

Darren Fichardt and Branden Grace missed the cut.