Aphibarnrat, Lowry share 54-hole lead at Turkish Airlines Open

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Aphibarnrat, Lowry share 54-hole lead at Turkish Airlines Open

Euro Tour

Aphibarnrat, Lowry share 54-hole lead at Turkish Airlines Open

Round bellies of the world unite. Two of our kind sit atop the $7.5 million Turkish Airlines Open leaderboard.

Shane Lowry and Kiradech Aphibarnrat aren’t adverts for golf’s modern fitness kick. They’ll probably never feature on the cover of any men’s health magazine.

They feature at the head of field at the Regnum Carya Golf & Spa Resort in Antalya, Turkey.

Lowry and Aphibarnrat sit on 14 under with 18 holes to play, two shots ahead of 36-hole leader Nicolas Colsaerts, Justin Rose and Padraig Harrington. Lowry returned a 6-under 65 while his Thai competitor shot 66. They took advantage of Colsaerts’ 2-over 73.

Lowry, who is seeking his fourth European Tour win and first since the 2015 WGC–Bridgestone Invitational, had three birdies on each nine to get to the top of the leaderboard.

“Sixty-five on a Saturday to put yourself up there is what you want,” Lowry said. “I’m very excited about tomorrow. I haven’t really been there for a while. It’s been a while since I won so I can’t remember what it’s like.”

Aphibarnrat also played the par-71 layout without carding a bogey. He, too, is seeking his fourth Euro Tour win and first since 2015.

“I really enjoyed this moment,” he said. “I forgot everything in the past. I just keep knocking on the door, one day it will open for me. One day I can get the job done.”

Colsaerts controlled the tournament when he extended his four-shot overnight lead to six strokes with birdies at the fourth and seventh holes. However, the big hitting Belgian crashed on the back nine. He double bogeyed the 11th hole after finding water twice, then dropped shots at the 12th and 15th to come home in 41.

“Everything was going according to plan,” Colsaerts said. “I caught a mud ball on 11. I didn’t think I did a lot wrong until then. I just took a couple of blows that weren’t really necessary.

“It’s the only couple of blemishes that I’ve had so far this week. I’m still within striking distance.”

Colsaerts hasn’t won since the 2012 Volvo World Match Play. It helped him make his Ryder Cup debut, when he starred in Europe’s Miracle at Medinah.

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