Noren storms into Malmo lead

Following a two-hour delay due to the threat of lightning at PGA Sweden National, Noren carded seven birdies and two bogeys in a superb five-under 65 that swept him to the top of the leaderboard on 11 under par.

The home star, one of only eight players to break 70 on day three, is two clear of Germany’s Maximilian Kieffer, but teenage amateur and joint-overnight leader Marcus Kinhult will go into the final round seven shots off the pace after he stumbled to a 77.

Irish Open winner Soren Kjeldsen vaulted into contention with a 68 that lifted him to seven under, while pre-tournament favourite and world No 4 Henrik Stenson was also four under for the round as he moved to within five of the leader.

Noren made significant early strides up the leaderboard with four birdies over the first five holes, and he responded to a bogey at the ninth with back-to-back birdies at 10 and 11.

He blotted his card for the second time at the 16th, but he bounced back with another birdie at the last to claim the 54-hole lead over Kieffer, who was one over for the day after 13 before finishing strongly with birdies at 14, 15 and 18 to salvage a 70.

???It???s very nice and I???m very happy to play the way I did today, especially my putting,” Noren told the European Tour. “My whole game, in fact, was pretty good. It was a great start. I hit some good shots on one and two and holed a couple of good putts on four and five.

“The year has been fantastic ??? I???ve had a few good finishes and steadier play. I???m working hard on hitting the right shots at the right times, and on days like today you get a good test of it. Before I was maybe a bit one-dimensional in my game and always hit a fade; now I???m trying to hit a draw too. It???s working a bit better.”

Jens Dantorp, who shared the halfway lead with Kinhult, struggled to a 73 which left him in a share of third place with fellow Swede Sebastian Soderberg, while Dane Kjeldsen picked up four shots over the first six holes and overcame a mid-round stutter to close with his sixth birdie of the day and return to seven under.

Stenson delighted the locals with a red-hot start as he eagled the first and birdied the second, and he picked up three more birdies on the back nine including one at the last which capped a commendable 68.

“It was tough conditions once again,”??Stenson told Sky Sports 4. “I’m happy with the score. We’re still a way back going into Sunday, but at least we have a chance. It was a bad momentum killer to three-putt the 17th but I got it back on the 18th and this wind is going to thin out the number of guys at the top.”

The Ryder Cup star was joined in the clubhouse on six under by fellow Swedes Steven Jeppesen and Kristoffer Broberg, who both fired 70, while England’s Callum Shinkwin cost himself a place in Sunday’s final group with a poor finish to an otherwise excellent round.

Shinkwin birdied the first two holes and cruised to the turn in 33 before picking up further shots at 11, 12 and 15 to get to eight under, but the 22-year-old bogeyed the next and ran-up a double-bogey seven at the last to return a disappointing 69.

Kinhult opened with a confident birdie but then gave up three shots in five holes from the third, and he endured a dreadful run of two double-bogeys either side of another dropped shot at 16 before making a valiant birdie at the last to close on four under.

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