Johan Edfors from Sweden is closing in on his second Challenge Tour title after maintaining his lead in the Fortis Challenge Open in Holland. The 27 year old carded a third round 69 for 203, 13 under par, and is two strokes ahead of South African Ryan Reid and three clear of the rest of the field.
Edfors has led at Burggolf Purmerend near Amsterdam from round one and clearly prefers inclement conditions to warm, sunny days. He won in difficult conditions in Zambia in March and his opening two rounds of 67 in the wet and wind this week put him above most of his rivals.
When conditions turned kinder today, Edfors shot two strokes worse, although at one stage he commanded a five shot lead. But the pack gradually closed in although they still couldn’t catch the man from Gothenburg.
Edfors ran in four birdies but came to grief at the 278-yard tenth, which is drivable providing you negotiate the water that fronts the green. The Swede attempted to do just that but found a watery grave and ran up a double-bogey six.
“I played fine apart from the tenth,” he said. “The tenth was my worst shot but the best was on the fourth where I hit nine iron from a bunker over water to a well guarded pin and made birdie.”
Reid, the 28 year old from Port Elizabeth, had six birdies in his 66, as did Australian Brett Rumford, whose 66 moved him into joint third place on 206 alongside Mark Sanders.
The Englishman, who celebrated his 29th birthday on Friday, enjoyed a belated birthday present with a 67 containing five birdies.
Another Englishman, left-hander Stuart Little is fifth on 208 after a 68, while Sweden’s Peter Hanson, third overnight, slipped back with 70.
The best round of the day was recorded by defending champion Didier de Vooght from Belgium who had an eagle and six birdies in a 65 that moves him up to joint eight on 210.