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Hend struggles not punished on fog-affected day

9 September 2017 21:26

Scott Hend slumped back down to earth in a third round of the European Masters he was unable to finish, but still leads by two strokes going into the final day in Crans-Montana.

Hend's seven-under 63 had given him the lead at the midway point but, on a third day that saw play suspended due to dense fog, the Australian went two over par through the 13 holes he was able to complete, dropping him to 11 under for the tournament.

Fading light prevented Hend, who was denied victory at the same event last year as he lost to Alex Noren in a play-off, from finishing his round.

Play will restart at 08:00 (local time) on Sunday with Matthew Fitzpatrick, Fabrizio Zanotti and Darren Fichardt his closest challengers.

Fichardt had been just one stroke behind at the halfway stage but went three over through 13 holes, with Zanotti level par with five holes to play.

Fitzpatrick recovered from bogeys at the first and third with three gains in four holes to make the turn in 34 and was flawless through the first six holes of his back nine.

Thongchai Jaidee is among six players on eight under as he seeks a ninth European Tour win, while Tyrrell Hatton heads a quartet that are four shots off the pace.

Defending champion Noren did complete his round and is within six shots of Hend after a two-under 68.

The Swede made the turn at one over, but gains at 12, 14 and 17 kept him with an outside chance of retaining his title.

Lee Westwood, though, will not, barring a remarkable turnaround, be marking his 500th European Tour appearance with a win.

The former world number one posted a 67 to make the weekend, but a three-over 73 dropped him back to one over, tied for 60th.

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