Golf: Unheralded Smith takes lead into European Open final round

HAMBURG (AFP) - England's Jordan Smith will take a two-shot lead into the final round of the European Open in Hamburg after shooting a second consecutive 67 on Saturday (July 29) as he targets a first tour title.

Smith's bogey-free five-under-par round left him on 12-under overall with Sweden's Jens Fahrbring and France's Alexander Levy his nearest challengers, each on 10 under par.

Levy is still in contention to retain his title after a day on which he was forced to complete his second round before a third round of 69.

The Frenchman was one of a number of players who had been forced to come back early on Saturday after lengthy rain delays on Friday had brought a premature end to play.

Smith's fellow Englishman Ashley Chesters had led in the clubhouse overnight but he could only manage a level-par round of 72 on Saturday and is one of six players in a tie for fourth at nine-under.

Further back, US Ryder Cup player Patrick Reed sits at seven-under after a colourful 70 that featured an eagle and four birdies but also four bogeys on the Green Eagle course, just to the south of the German city.

South Africa's former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel, the highest-ranked player in the field at world number 21, slipped back to five-under after a 73.