Rock within sight of breaking win duck

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The Independent Online

Britain's Robert Rock takes a two-shot lead into today's final round, in sight of his maiden title after more than nine years and 208 events trying.

Another fine putting display helped the 34-year-old Englishman to a third round four-under 68 and a 16-under total. That left him two shots ahead of home hope Francesco Molinari (68), who is aiming for his second Italian Open title.

Alongside Molinari is Swede Niclas Fasth, Spaniard Pablo Larrazabal, South Africa's Jbe Kruger, Briton Gary Boyd and Dutchman Joost Luiten.

A change of putting grip recently has transformed Rock's game, enabling him to qualify for the US Open and sit on top of the Royal Park leaderboard all week. He needed only 27 putts in the third round despite missing a closing birdie by three-putting from the fringe on 18.

"The big moments in my career are all coming at once and tomorrow will be the biggest so far in over nine years," Rock said. Two years ago he lost a play-off to amateur Shane Lowry in the Irish Open.

"Ireland was the one real chance before that I had of winning and now I've moved forward. If my putting stays the same it will calm me down tomorrow. It does wonders for your confidence when you hole putts."

Matteo Manassero, 18, will need to put in a manful effort to clinch his home open. He trails Rock by four.