Pieters moves two shots clear in Czech Masters defence


Thomas Pieters will take a two-shot lead into the final round of the Czech Masters, but it could have been even better for the defending champion.

Pieters, continuing the form that saw him finish fourth at Rio 2016, shared the overnight lead with Dane Jeff Winther but took sole control in Prague on Saturday.

However, the Belgian may be left to rue back-to-back bogies on the 11th and 12th holes, which cost him the chance to go four strokes clear of Paul Peterson.

"I think there were too many poor shots today. I had some good looks at birdie down the stretch but I didn't hit enough good putts and the greens were a little bumpy at the end," said Pieters.

"I'm not very happy with today but I'm still in front so I'm just looking forward to tomorrow and hopefully I can post a good score.

"I feel quite relaxed out there with my caddie and we have a good game plan so everything is set to go well tomorrow."

A sensational course-record-equalling round of 64 - comprised of eight birdies and 10 pars - sent Peterson surging up the leaderboard and into second.

"I was just trying to take it one shot at a time. I know it's a cliche but we really were into each shot," he was quoted as saying on the official European Tour website.

"I had no idea I was anywhere near the course record, I figured somebody went crazy out here but it's awesome to hear and I'm really happy with that round."

Robert Rock took one shot more than Peterson to join Winther, one over for the day following a trio of bogeys, in third position and three shots adrift of Pieters.

Peter Hanson slipped from third to joint-12th following a level round that included dropped shots on three holes.