Defending champ Luiten leads in Austria

Joost Luiten, eyeing the chance to become the first Dutchman to play in the Ryder Cup, stepped up the defence of his Austrian Open title when he surged into the lead after the third round on Saturday.

Luiten stormed to the top of the leaderboard thanks to a front nine of 31, which moved him to 10 under par, a two-shot lead over Austrian Bernd Wiesberger.

“I’m happy, 66 is good,” said the 28-year-old Luiten, who is currently just outside the automatic qualifying places for Paul McGinley’s European team which will defend the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles.

“It could have been a bit lower as I was playing really well, especially the first 12 holes, but it’s been a really good day. I’ve been playing consistently and hitting some good shots and making some good putts.

“All I can do is focus on this tournament now and playing here, next week is a new week. I am in a good position so I just want to finish it off tomorrow and see if we can win again here.

“I know Bernd is a good player so it will be a very good battle and there are a few more guys behind who are not out of it yet. It’s going to be an interesting day.”


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