Marshall’s joint best

Norfolk golfer Andrew Marshall recorded the joint lowest round of his professional career yesterday to move into contention going into the final day of his latest Challenge Tour event.

The Dereham professional added a brilliant eight under par 63 to earlier rounds of 66 and 72 to move into a tie for fourth position at the Rome Open.

That left him five shots behind leader Andreas Harto, who is bidding to write his name into the record books as the fastest player to win two Challenge Tour events.

Harto moved to 17 under par with a round of 65, which was matched by Frenchman Adrien Bernadet, who heads the chasing pack on 15 under. Marshall is on 12 under par and in a good position to compete for his first Challenge Tour title this afternoon.

Marshall, who currently stands 51st in the Order of Merit, notched three birdies before the turn and added another five after it to post an unblemished round.

That moved him from 24th place up to a share of fourth on 12 under par alongside his compatriot Tommy Fleetwood and Switzerland's Julien Clement.

Marshall's 63 was built on an impressive display with the putter.

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'I wasn't great off the tee but it was a hell of a display on the greens,' he told the European Tour's official website.

'I only had 26 putts, which was pretty good going. I got some nice reads from my playing partners' putts on a couple of holes, but the rest was my own work!

'It's nice to show I've still got it in me, but I won't be getting carried away just yet. Having said that I might if I can shoot another 63 tomorrow!'

Leader Harto cut short his scholarship at Augusta State University in order to pursue his dream of becoming a professional golfer, having won the ECCO Tour Championship as an amateur on his Challenge Tour debut.

The decision looks an inspired one, as the young Dane is on course to take his tally of titles to two on only his third Challenge Tour appearance.

'I made some good putts, but none from really long range,' he said. 'So it was another solid day, and hopefully I can see it through.

'It might sound slightly stupid having already won once, but I still have so much to learn about myself and the game. So I'm just going to try to have fun, and see where it takes me. '