Sweden’s Oskar Bergman and the English duo of Andrew Butterfield and Denny Lucas will take a one shot lead into the final round of the Norwegian Challenge Open as all three players look to secure their maiden European Challenge Tour victories.
The leaders, who have posted two round totals of seven under par 134 are one shot ahead of Ireland’s Stephen Browne, and Mark Sanders of England.
Bergman, who notched seven birdies and three bogeys during his second round 68, is currently enjoying a solid run of form after his 14th place finish at the Ryder Cup Wales Challenge two weeks ago and then finishing 11th at the dual ranking BMW Russian Open last weekend. The Swede credits his upturn in form to a change of attitude on the course, which has enabled him to bring more consistency to his game.
“It was a good day today,” he said. “My putter got very hot at the start of the day and the only disappointing thing was finishing with two bogeys in my last five holes.
“But I am in a good position and I just have to hope for more of the same tomorrow. My results have been getting better recently and that is really down to changing my attitude to the game. I am enjoying golf again, and with that comes good results.”
Butterfield has also produced positive results on the course recently and is playing full of confidence after winning on the Third Level EuroPro Tour a fortnight ago. Having been given a taste for success, the Englishman is hungry to step up a level and secure what would be a maiden Challenge Tour career victory in tomorrow’s final round.
“I think that winning recently has definitely helped my confidence and given me more belief,” said Butterfield after signing for a 69. “It has given me a felling for what I have to do in the last round tomorrow and hopefully I can feed off that and play as I have been all week.
“My coach, Stuart Dowsett, has also been a tremendous help to me recently and has been a big part in bring the confidence back into my game as well.”
Lucas, meanwhile, posted his own 69 to join Bergman and Butterfield at the top of the leaderboard. The 26 year old, would love to secure his first Challenge Tour win given the benefits attached. As tournament winner, Lucas would become a Category One Challenge Tour player for the next 12 months and provide the security he craves to take his career to the next level.
“I am desperate for my first Challenge Tour win,” he admitted. “That would be the perfect scenario for me tomorrow because it would just sort out so many difficulties. My Category is quite low at the moment, so to win a tournament would change everything for me. I feel I need to win something to take me to the next level, and it would be great to do that tomorrow afternoon.”