Englishman Daniel Greenwood, Andres Romero of Argentina and Italy’s Marco Soffietti share the third round lead of seven under par 203 at the European Challenge Tour’s Morson International Pro-Am Challenge, but they are set to meet strong resistance from a five strong group of players tied together on five under par – any one of who could put together that all important low final round and take the €24,000 first prize available.
Englishman Benn Barham, Julien Clément of Switzerland, Frenchman Julien Quesne, Scotsman David Orr and Shaun Webstre of England are all within striking distance of the leader, while another four players – Sion Bebb of Wales, Germany’s Gary Birch Jr, South African Michiel Bothma and Richard McEvoy – are just one behind the immediate chasing pack.
Of the group on five under, Webster made the most significant move of the day after a brilliant 64 moved him from 46th place on the leaderboard at the start of the day up to fifth by the end of play, while McEvoy matched that 64 to move from 49th to sixth.
Greenwood, who has played only once on the Challenge Tour this season when he missed the cut at the Ireland Ryder Cup Challenge, bogeyed the par five fifth hole to go to one over for the day but steadied himself with a birdies on the ninth 11th and 12th to come home in 33 coming to post a third round 69.
The Englishman is used to the Pro-Am format of this unique Challenge Tour event, and feel he will be aided by his Pro-Am experience going into the final round.
“I suppose you could say that the Pro-Am format helped me – I am very used to it. The funny thing is that I didn’t know this tournament was going to switch to that format because I only got into to it on Monday and hadn’t checked any of the information about it,” said Greenwood.
“But if play in 20 or 30 of these Pro-Ams every year then you learn when to switch on and off – it’s more like playing a round with your mates.
“It’s fantastic to be in this position. I didn’t expect anything when I came here. I could have shot 60 or 80 and it wouldn’t have mattered but I have played really well for the last three days as it happens and I can go into tomorrow without any pressure on me whatsoever.”
It took Romero a while to get a grip of his third round performance, but he eventually put together a 69 to join Greenwood and Soffietti at the top of the leaderboard.
The Argentine bogeyed the fourth hole before a pair of birdies at the fifth and seventh got him back under par for the day. He let that slip though, dropping shots on the ninth and tenth, but made amends with another two birdies on the 12th and then the 17th to get to seven under.
Soffietti got his round off to a perfect start with two birdies in his opening two holes – chipping from the bunker on the first and then holing from around 20 feet on the second. He followed that up with a further three birdies on the back nine to post a third round 65 and move into second place.
“I had a great start today that really helped to relax me and let me get things going,” said Soffietti. “I chipped in for birdie form the bunker at the first and then holed a putt from seven metres from the edge of the second green.
“My long game was good today but the putting was the best thing about my game. I had 26 putts which was very consistent. I’m very happy with the way I am playing at the moment. The work that I have been doing in the gym and on the practice range for the past year is starting to really pay off.
“I haven’t been in a position like this going into the last round for as long as I can remember so it is nice to be among the leaders. We will see how things go tomorrow – I am a very humble person so I do not like to say things like I am going to win or come second, so we will just have to wait and see what happens.”