Another day in the life of the European Challenge Tour, another day of exceptional golf as the English duo of Mathew King and Graeme Storm topped the Ryder Cup Wales Challenge leaderboard on with one round to go.
King and Storm lead the way on 21 under par 195 after respective rounds of 66 and 65 kept them ahead of their playing partner Mikael Lundberg of Sweden, who carded his own 65 to get to within one shot of the top two.
England’s David Griffiths – the next man down on the leaderboard in fourth place - did the overall standard of golf no harm at all as he equalled Englishman Stuart Davies’s one day old course record 62.
Griffiths, who began the week with a 71 followed by a 65, went to the turn in three under par before setting the back nine of the Northop Golf and Country Club alight with a six hole spell that golfing dreams are made of.
The 24 year old – who has spent the last two years playing in the USA – birdied the tenth and 11th then parred the 12th before registering an eagle two at the par four 13th, a birdie three on the 14th and then an eagle three on the 15th to come home in 29 shots to equal the course record.
“I really thought the 59 was on today,” said Griffiths. “I needed to birdie my last three holes to get it and it is the first time that I have really had a chance to achieve it, but I am delighted with 62 and if I can do it again tomorrow I’ll have a chance of winning.”
Both King and Storm will be thinking along the same lines as they look to secure what would be maiden Challenge Tour victories for both players.
King said: “I think my plan for tomorrow will be to keep doing the things I am doing and trying not to think too much about the position I’m in or anything like that. I have won on the EuroPro Tour before, and while I do think that will stand me in good stead, the Challenge Tour is a different level and I am surrounded by far better players out here than I was last year.”
Storm, the 1999 British Amateur Champion, was delighted to have remained in contention and has banished the jinx that plagued him twice before when he was in a similar position after two rounds.
“It feels really pleasant to have stayed in touch and still be at the top of the leaderboard to be honest because I have been in this position twice before when I was in the last group for the third round and shot a 77 and a 78.
“This time I know I have a good chance – as have Mathew and Mikael – and I am looking forward to playing with both of them tomorrow because we all seemed to spur each other on today as well as enjoyed each others company.”