Marcus Kinhult remains in French Open lead, but talented trio not far behind

Lucas Barioulet/AFP/Getty Images

Marcus Kinhult remains in French Open lead, but talented trio not far behind

Euro Tour

Marcus Kinhult remains in French Open lead, but talented trio not far behind

PARIS – Watching the final two groups in in the $7 million HNA French Open is going to make for interesting viewing. Marcus Kinhult is trying to get a more permanent foothold on the European Tour, while playing companion Chris Wood is trying to get back to winning ways.

Sergio Garcia and Jon Rahm are breathing down their necks in the penultimate pairing to crank up the pressure.

Kinhult built on his 36-hole lead with a 4-under 67 to move to 10 under. Wood matched Kinhult’s score to lie two shots behind. Garcia is three off the pace after 64, the low round of the week. Rahm is in solo fourth after a 3-under 68.

“It’s going to be nerve wracking, the first few holes, at least,” said Kinhult, who had five consecutive birdies from the fifth to play the front nine in 32. “We’ll see. I felt the nerves today for sure. Tomorrow is going to be the same I guess. So I’m just trying to handle that and handle myself as well as I can.”

Wood’s game has gone AWOL since he won the 2016 BMW PGA Championship. That result earned him a Ryder Cup start, but the 6-foot-6-inch pro is not even close to playing in this year’s match after a mediocre 18 months.

“It’s been a while,” Wood said. “Last year, I led going into the final day in Sweden (the Nordea Masters) and bogeyed the last and lost by a shot. My game hasn’t quite been there. I feel like I’m playing well enough. My game’s slowly getting there.”

Garcia marred his scorecard with a bogey at the 18th after seven birdies, including three in a row from the 14th. He’s making his debut in the French Open.

Rahm made a lot of good saves, including a par on the 15th from deep rough.

“I think tomorrow could be a great day,” Rahm said. “Sergio had a great round today and to have two Spanish playing together, contending, plus two more in the top 10 (Adrian Otaegui and Pedro Oriol), it’s something great for us and for Spanish golf, so hopefully one of us gets a win.”

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