Sweden’s Fredrik Henge and Simon Khan from England look set to fight a head-to-head battle for the Formby Hall challenge title. They share the lead on eight-under-par 202, three strokes clear of the field with a round left and both are showing winning form.
Henge shot the round of the week with a seven birdie 64 to set the clubhouse target which would have been a course record but preferred lies were in operation after heavy rain of the first two days.
Even then the 25-year-old Swede was slightly disappointed. “I’ve never shot a round without a five in it and I had the chance today,” he said. “There wasn’t a five on my card when I stood on the 18th green with a 10-foot putt for a birdie-four. But the ball stopped an inch away so I didn’t achieve my aim.”
Nevertheless, it looked as if he would lead until Khan, the overnight leader in the last match out, was on six under with six to play. Then his putter got hot as he drained birdie putts from 35 and 30 feet at the short 13th and par-four 17th for a second successive 67 to catch Henge.
“That’s the best I’ve played all week,” said Khan. “For the first 11 holes I hit everything out of the middle then I missed my first green at the 12th and it cost me my only shot. But running in those long putts for birdies rounded off the day nicely.”
Their nearest challengers are Scotland’s Roger Beames, the only other player to shoot three sub-70 rounds, who returned 68, England’s Paul Sherman with 69, and Juan Nutt from Venezuela with 68, all on 205.
Two more Englishmen, Neil Cheetham and Gary Clark, who both went round in 69, are a shot further back on 206.