A STRONG finish from Phil Worthington ensured that he will take a two-shot lead into the final round of The Swallow Challenge at Farleigh Court.
Worthington began the second round a shot behind overnight leader Ben Welch, and saw his challenge disrupted when he dropped shots at three of his opening four holes.
The Donnington Grove golfer recovered with three birdies to put himself level for the round with eight holes to play.
Although he dropped another shot, he finished strongly with three successive birdies to move two strokes clear of Daniel Wardrop at -5.
Wardrop followed up his opening round 71 with a one-under-par 72 on Thursday to put himself in a strong position going into the final day.
Irishman Peter Williamson is a further shot back at -2, with Graeme Clark and Mark Smith the other two players under par at -1.
Welch, who shot a 69 on Wednesday, dropped to +3 following the second round after hitting a disappointing 80.
Dean Plant shot a hole in one at the 13th on his way to a level par round on Thursday and +5 score overall, although Sandeep Grewal, who aced the fifth hole on Wednesday, failed to make the cut of +8.