England’s Iain Pyman leapfrogged Carl Suneson of Spain at the top of the FIRSTPLUS Wales Challenge leaderboard, posting an excellent third round of two under par 71 amidst some aggressive, swirling winds at the Vale Hotel and Spa Resort to take a one shot lead in the final round.
Pyman began the day three shots behind Suneson, but a combination of his fine play and Suneson’s misfortunate 75, left the Englishman in the lead with 18 holes to play.
Suneson’s bad luck came on the par five 13th, where his ball went harshly out of bounds and contributed to the 38 year old taking a triple bogey eight, which allowed Pyman to take over the lead.
Pyman then matched Suneson’s birdie on the 14th, but dropped two strokes over the Vale’s punishing closing three holes to finish the day on four under, and set up an intriguing final day battle with his playing partner.
It looks likely to be a two man fight for the title, with the next best players – Soren Juul Hansen of Denmark and Norway’s Peter Kaensche – five shots behind Suneson on two over par.
There are a further six players on three over, with Sion Bebb the highest placed Welshman in the field among the five players a further shot back on four over par.
Pyman and Suneson are both looking forward to slugging it out for the title, and both are well aware that they will have to be at their best to claim the €20,000 top prize with conditions forecast to be similar to those which affected round three.
Pyman said: “That was a tough day, one of those days when you knew that you were going to have to grind it out and that’s exactly what happened. It’s nice to be leading, but it’s only the one stroke and that can disappear very quickly on this golf course.
“I think both myself and Carl know that we will have to shoot a low score to be sure of winning tomorrow, but I don’t think you can really get a score you would like to shoot in mind because of the conditions and how tough the golf course is. It really is a case of one shot at a time and not getting ahead of yourself because you have to be concentrating and committing to every shot you take or you’ll get into trouble.
“That’s what happened to Carl today. He hit two bad shots all day and took a triple bogey because of one of those shots, which shows how tough it is.”
Suneson agreed: “It is going to be the same again tomorrow – a long, tough day. I played well again today, it was just the eight that affected my score but I am still very much in there. Iain and I have swapped places on the leaderboard, but we have both been around long enough to know that it will be the guy who plays the better golf tomorrow that wins the tournament.”