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Nystrom takes two-shot lead into St Omer final day

Written by: Staff
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SAINT-OMER, France, June 17 (Reuters) Henrik Nystrom of Sweden takes a two-shot lead into the final round of the St Omer Open today that he hopes will ensure his playing rights for next season.

Nystrom, only 155th on Europe's money-list, shot a faultless third round three-under-par 68 on Saturday to move to 11-under-par 202, two strokes ahead of South African Martin Maritz and three better than Britain's Shaun Webster.

With his putter decidedly cool early on, Nystrom had to wait until just before the turn before picking up his first birdie of the day and then retained his two-stroke overnight lead by picking up further shots on the 14th and 17th.

''My putter was not as hot today,'' said the leader. ''But I didn't make any mistakes and I knew I just needed patience.

''That's how it will have to be tomorrow, when the best man will win.'' A one-year exemption, in a tournament paired between the main tour and the Challenge Tour, is the reward for the best man.

Nystrom, after struggling from few starts this year in his eighth year on the full tour, is aware of what that prize will mean.

''There's a lot at stake if I win, exemptions and everything but all I can do is play my best and see if it's good enough,'' he said.

Maritz is in even more dire straits over his playing rights for next year, having spent time recently on the Asian Tour.

The tall South African is looking to kick-start his season after playing just two European Tour events this year and lying 223rd on the money-list.

REUTERS PDS PM2115

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