ROTHERHAM’S Jonathan Thomson stands just three shots off the lead heading into the final round of the Clipper Logistics Championship as he chases a second EuroPro Tour victory in a row.
Thomson won the the Glenfarclas Open in Renfrewshire within a month of joining the paid ranks.
After rounds of 68 69 at Moor Allerton he is within striking distance of Clandeboye’s Jonathan Caldwell, who leaped to the top of the leaderboard by adding a seven-under-par 64 to his opening 70.
Malton & Norton’s Chris Halley, still seeking his first victory on the tour, is one adrift of Thomson with scores of 68 70.
Former Yorkshire county player Thomson made it to the turn level with the card, but with only four pars.
He followed a bogey at three with an eagle at five, a birdie at six and further bogeys at seven and nine.
Coming home, he sandwiched a bogey at 13 with birdies at 12 and 14, and another birdie at 16 got him to five under for the event.
Halley started his round at the 10th and opened with a birdie, but a dropped shot at 17 had him ‘out’ in level par.
Further shots were surrendered at the first and fourth before he, like Thomson, eagled the fifth before birdieing the ninth.
Cookridge Hall’s Tom Broxup, one of two amateurs in the field, missed the cut on 147 (71 76).
Northern Irishman Caldwell finished second to Chris Gane after a play-off at Army GC last month and a consistent season on the HotelPlanner.com PGA EuroPro Tour means he is in a position whereby a win would see him leap into the top five on the Race To Desert Springs – and the top five at the end of the season earn a 2017 Challenge Tour card.
He is trailed by one stroke by last year’s winner of this event, Mark Laskey (Brocket Hall/Team Honma), who has carded rounds of 68 67.
Ashton Turner (Kenwick Park) and Alex Wrigley (Hartlepool) share third on six under, two back.
The Clipper Logistics Championship is the final regular-season event before the Matchroom Sport Championship at Desert Springs Resort in Spain in October.
Only the top 60 on the Race To Desert Springs Order of Merit receive an invite to the big-money tour finale.
The Clipper Logistics concludes on Friday, with the final round to be filmed for a two-hour highlights package, which will air on Sky Sports on Tuesday, Spectator entry is free.