LINDRICK’S Jonathan Thomson took over from Meltham’s Jamie Bower as the leading Yorkshire player in the European Championship with a third successive round in the 60s.
Thomson shot a four-under-par 68 after rounds of 69 and 64 to lie in a tie for sixth at the Legend Course at Penati Golf Resort.
He is a shot ahead of overnight leader Bower who dipped below par again following his opening of 66 65, but only just with a 71.
The new Home International is one back of Thomson and four ahead of their Yorkshire county team-mate Dan Brown (Bedale).
Brown is in a tie for 29th after adding 70 to his 69 67 beginning while Huddersfield’s former English champion Nick Marsh (75 66 73) missed the cut.
Thomson had a stuttering start and finish, carding a bogey at the first and another at 17.
But in between he picked up six birdies in three pairs – at holes eight and nine, 11 and 12, and 15 and 16.
“I actually hit it equally as good if not better [than on Thursday when he shot 64],” said Thomson.
“I certainly hit it closer, but I couldn’t get anything in the hole although the greens were very tired after a long day.
“Hopefully I can play something of the same in the final round and a few more putts should drop for me.
“All I’m going to do is stay patient out there. I feel like I’m in control of my game, which is a very nice feeling too have, something very much similar to the Brabazon.”
Thomson finished sixth in the Brabazon Trophy, England Golf’s flagship stroke play event, and earned silverware in the form of the George Henriques salver awarded to the leading Great Britain & Ireland player aged under 20.
Bower slipped back to 11 under in Slovakia with bogeys at two and five, halved the damage with a birdie at six but suffered another bogey at eight.
Last week he reached the semi-finals of the English Amateur championship at Alwoodley, cementing his place in England’s side for Royal Portrush next week, and the confidence gained showed as he recovered from the outward disappointment to grab three birdies on the way home.
Brown, like Thomson, dropped a shot at the opening hole, but birdied five and six.
Another birdie at 11 was swiftly negated at 12 before a run of three consecutive birdies from the 13th. Unfortunately Brown – who will also make his Home International debut with Bower, and new English champion Joe Dean, of Sheffield – took a double bogey at his penultimate hole.
Marsh could not find the form which had seen him garner nine birdies in his 66, making three bogeys and only two birdies in round three.
The event leader is Ireland’s Gary Hurley (68 65 65).