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Super Sullivan on brink of ending title drought at English Championship

Andy Sullivan will carry a five-shot lead into the final round of the English Championship but vowed he would be preparing for a battle over the closing 18 holes.

The 33-year-old Englishman earned all of his three wins on the European Tour in 2015, helping to secure a Ryder Cup place, and is taking nothing for granted as he chases down a long-awaited fourth title.

A sparkling seven-under-par 64 on Saturday contained eagles at the first and ninth holes, nudging Sullivan to 21 under through 54 holes. 

Last year's Portugal Masters champion Steven Brown sat a distant second on 16 under at Hanbury Manor after a 66.

Sullivan said he had "good fun" in picking off the eagles and birdies among a couple of dropped shots.

He drove the green sumptuously at the par-four first, holing a short putt for the first of the two eagles.

But with scoring having been low through the first 54 holes – so low that those on four under through 36 holes missed the cut – Sullivan expects someone in the pack behind him to shoot an eye-catching closing round.

"I don't think it's a golf course where you can rest on your laurels," Sullivan told the European Tour website. "You've got to go after it a little bit and try to make birdies but also be sensible.

"I didn't really realise I was five in front until coming up the last."

He added: "I can't control anyone that's going to come up behind me.

"This course does offer a lot of birdies so I'm sure at some point someone's going to have a little run at me.

"All I can do is control what I can do and see where we are at the end of it."

Sullivan had led by one overnight after a 62 on Friday vaulted him up the leaderboard, and only one player went lower than his Saturday score, with Marcus Armitage bounding to a tie for 10th on the back of a 63 that moved him to 13 under overall.

South Africans Dean Burmester and Brandon Stone sat alongside Spain's Adrian Otaegui on 15 under, with Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts among those one shot further back.

Source – OPTA

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