Donald seven back at Soudal Open after shooting 65

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Donald seven back at Soudal Open after shooting 65

Luke Donald shot a six-under third round of 65 to move within seven of the lead at the Soudal Open, where Spaniard Nacho Elvira leads by four strokes after carding a 67 in Belgium. 

Donald raced out of the blocks with six birdies on his front nine, before managing three upon turning the corner to claw his way back up the leaderboard after going around in two-under on Friday.

Fellow Englishman Sam Bairstow meanwhile produced one of the rounds of day three as he carded an eight-under 63 to join Donald on 11 under par.

Elvira entered the weekend with a two-shot advantage after a pair of bogey-free 64s and was still without a blemish as he turned in 32 to lead by five.

Some ragged swings set in on the back nine but he came home in level par despite making his first two bogeys of the week and will head into round four at 18 under, four clear of English duo Joe Dean and Ross Fisher, Frenchman Romain Langasque and Dane Niklas Norgaard.

Elvira’s only DP World Tour win to date came three years ago at Celtic Manor when he needed a play-off despite taking a six-shot lead into the last 18 holes, and he was hoping to use that experience in Antwerp.

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“I was leading by six then, I’m leading by four,” he said. “I could have taken three or four more just to be relaxed but this game is funny sometimes.

“I cannot hit it as good as I want and be leading by four, it’s just a weird game. I learned a lot about being patient that day so hopefully I can take that into Sunday.”

Elvira was threatening to run away with it when he started with three birdies and added another on the eighth but a dropped shot on the 13th stalled his momentum.

He picked it straight back up on the next and was five ahead again after a birdie on the 17th but dropped a shot on the last and looked to be holding his wrist in pain after playing away from a tree root.

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Dean was a delivery driver for Morrisons the week before he finished second at the Magical Kenya Open in March but revealed this week that he has given up the day job and a 66 including two chip-ins put him in contention for a life-changing win.

Fisher – a Ryder Cup winner in 2010 – is looking for a first victory in a decade and sat a shot ahead of another Englishman in Andrew Wilson, who stayed bogey-free for the week in his 68.

Watch the final round of the DP World Tour’s Soudal Open in Belgium live on Sky Sports Golf on Sunday from 9am.

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