Whiteford joins Horsey in Russian Open lead

Moscow, Russia ( - Peter Whiteford fired a 6-under 66 on Saturday to claim a share of the lead of the Russian Open.

Whiteford was joined atop the leaderboard at Tseleevo Golf & Polo Club at 13- under-par 203 by David Horsey (70), who has held at least a share of the lead since the end of the first round.

Whiteford is seeking his first career title on the European Tour, while Horsey is a two-time tour winner.

"I'm hoping I wake up tomorrow with a better swing. I had a lot of good luck today," said Whiteford. "It might be a bit like match play on the front nine tomorrow."

Andrea Pavan carded the low round of the day with an 8-under 64 to vault into a tie for third place with Scott Jamieson (69) and Thomas Pieters (72) at minus-9.

Damien McGrane (69), Sam Hutsby (70) and Gary Boyd (72) shared sixth at 7- under 209.

Horsey entered the day with a 2-stroke lead and birdied the first and third to move to 13-under and remain on top of the leaderboard despite Whiteford's hot start that included five birdies over his first six holes.

That brought Whiteford within one of the lead at minus-12 before a bogey at the seventh halted his momentum and handed Horsey back his 2-shot advantage.

Whiteford, however, bounced right back by holing out from a bunker for an eagle at the eighth to claim a share of the lead.

Horsey then bogeyed the ninth to fall to 12-under and give the outright lead to Whiteford.

Pieters, who was also playing in the final group, had recorded birdies at the fourth, seventh and ninth during his front nine to meet Horsey in second place at 12-under.

A flurry of activity at the 10th put Horsey back in the lead as he rolled in a birdie at the hole to move to 13-under while Whiteford bogeyed the hole to drop to minus-12. Pieters also tripped to a bogey at the 10th to fall two shots off the pace.

Horsey made it two gains in a row at the 11th to move two clear, but gave both of those shots away with bogeys at the 13th and 15th to drop into a tie for the lead with Whiteford.

Whiteford and Horsey both birdied the 17th to reach 13-under and both parred the last to remain tied heading into the final round.

"Pete started like a train and I was just trying to tell myself to concentrate on my own game," Horsey said. "I didn't quite maintain it that well on the back nine, but I kept myself in there and hopefully it'll be a little better tomorrow."

NOTES: Whiteford's best finish of the season was a tie for 17th at the South African Open Championship. He has missed the cut in 16 of his 19 starts since ... Horsey has four top-10 finishes this season, with the most recent coming at the Lyoness Open in June ... Pavan's 64 was also the best round of the tournament so far.