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Fitzpatrick keeps lead at Italian Open

By AAP Newswire

Matthew Fitzpatrick has birdied four of his last six holes to surge up the leaderboard and take a one-shot lead into the final round of the Italian Open.

The Englishman had started Saturday in Rome a shot clear of the rest of the field but was one over after 10 holes before his big finish sent him back to the summit.

The 2016 Ryder Cup star's round of 68 moved him to 13-under, one clear of America's Kurt Kitayama and two ahead of Scot Robert MacIntyre.

Fitzpatrick has four runner-up finishes worldwide in the 2019 season so far but will be going in search of a fifth professional career win on Sunday.

"To put myself one in front gives me a little bit of help," he told the European Tour website.

"I'm just looking forward and I'm ready to go already.

"Coming down the hill on the 12th it didn't feel like I should be one over. I didn't hit as many good shots as I would have liked around the turn so that cost me a little bit and put me back.

"To finish the way I did was great."

An opening birdie from inside 10 feet was the perfect start for Fitzpatrick but he dropped shots at the second and 10th before holing a five-foot putt for birdie at the 13th and sandwiching a long putt on the 16th with gains at the par-five 15th and 17th.

MacIntyre also has three runner-up finishes in 2019 and will be looking for a first win on a top-flight tour after carding a bogey-free 64, one shot better than Kitayama.

England's Matt Wallace and Austrian Bernd Wiesberger were at 10-under, a shot clear of Dane Soren Kjeldsen.

Australia's Lucas Herbert carded a two-under 69 in his third round to be five-under overall, eight shots behind Fitzpatrick.

Compatriot Wade Ormsby is one shot back after carding a three-under 68, while Jason Scrivener sunk an eagle on the par-5 17th but still finsihed one-over to be on par overall.