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Italian Open 2016: Saturday Leaderboard, Scores and Highlights

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistSeptember 17, 2016

MONZA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 17:  Thomas Linard of France hits his tee shot on the 1st hole during the third round of the Italian Open at Golf Club Milano - Parco Reale di Monza on September 17, 2016 in Monza, Italy.  (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Andrew Redington/Getty Images

France's Alexander Levy leads the pack after the third day of the 2016 Italian Open, as fading light suspended play before everyone could complete their third round. 

Poor weather conditions have plagued the Italian Open from the opening day. Things were no different on Saturday, with the likes of Danny Willett and Chris Paisley teeing off well past 5 p.m. local time.

Levy was in sensational form, managing 12 holes in seven under. He sits one shot ahead of Willett, Paisley, Chris Hanson and local favourite Francesco Molinari. Here's a look at the current leaderboard, via the European Tour's official Twitter account:

The European Tour @EuropeanTour

After three days at the #ItalianOpen: https://t.co/dAWH8TCuWb

Recap

Levy started Saturday's action with a superb eagle and never looked back. He finished the front nine with five more birdies, no bogeys and shot par the rest of the way until play was called.

As the European Tour's official Twitter account shared, his opening eagle came courtesy of a fantastic tee shot:

The European Tour @EuropeanTour

300 yards ➡️ 268 yards ➡️ 12 feet ➡️ hole https://t.co/23KsIy45tI

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The Frenchman's approach game was superb. While he made no mistakes with his putter, it was his work from the tee and all of his setup strokes that made the difference. If he can carry this form into the final day of the competition, he has an excellent chance of grabbing the win, even if Willett, Paisley, Hanson and Molinari have more holes to work with.

The latter shot four under through 10 to move into second place, recording a bogey on the second hole but playing an otherwise faultless round. One run in particular stood out, per the European Tour:

The European Tour @EuropeanTour

Birdie - Birdie - Birdie. And the home favourite, @F_Molinari, moves just 1 shot back. https://t.co/DMLe4o7A3S

Hanson and Paisley both finished their day on the ninth, where the fading light made things difficult on the Brits. The former managed birdie, while the latter had to settle for par. Willett never made it that far, calling it a day on the eighth.

The early starters enjoyed a relatively smooth course that provided plenty of opportunities for big shots, but putting proved to be difficult. Jamie McLeary had the best start anyone could wish for:

The European Tour @EuropeanTour

⏰ 08:10 - tee off 🚗 08:11 - win a new 61,000 euro car with your first shot Today was a good day for @JamieMcLeary64 https://t.co/C91IcU4a8R

Incredibly enough, he didn't seem to care all that much and was more concerned with his fantasy football team:

Rafa Cabrera-Bello managed 16 holes and carded a score of seven-under, and Joost Luiten was five under through 14. Neither sits particularly close to the top five players in the standings. The winner will, in all likelihood, emerge from that group.

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