Friday, 19 March 2010

Scotsman Jamie McLeary produced a monstrous performance during yesterday’s third round of the Credit Suisse Challenge, matching the course record of nine under par 64 to move from within the chasing pack in 26th place into pole position going into today’s final round at the Wylihof Golf Club.

McLeary began the day on four under par, but his stunning third round, which matched the course record set by Spain’s Juan Parron on Thursday, took him to 13 under 206 and gave him a one shot lead from England’s James Heath with 18 holes to play, with England’s Tim Milford and Denmark’s Mads Vibe-Hastrup tied in third place on 11 under.

The 25 year old Scot, who was ranked as the fifth best Amateur player in the world in 2004 by the R&A, got off to a flying start under the baking Swiss sun with a bride at the first hole, where he singled putted his eight iron approach from ten feet. That same eight iron then let him down on the third where a poor effort led to his only bogey of the day.

He soon cancelled that out with a birdie four on the fourth and never looked back from there, picking up shots on the eighth and ninth to reach the turn in three under 33.

With his momentum gathering pace and power, McLeary moved onto the back nine and carved out an exemplary display, with birdies on the 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 16th and 17th helping him to a back nine of six under 31.

“I enjoyed that,” smiled McLeary. “I have been playing really well for the last couple of weeks and felt that a round like today’s was coming. I finished sixth at the Challenge Tour event in Norway last week, and I hope I can do even better tomorrow.

“The main goal for tomorrow is to out and play well. If I can do that then I’ll be happy. I don’t want to think too much about wining, but it would be huge for my career.”

McLeary was not the only Scotsman in the field producing magical golf. His fellow countryman, Andrew McArthur, conjured the shot of the week so far on the par three 13th hole – a perfect five iron from 203 yards that buried itself in the bottom of the cup without a single bounce.

Heath, meanwhile, closed the gap on McLeary with his own excellent effort of six under 67, that included seven birdies and just a single dropped shot. The 23 year old, who finished 22nd on the Challenge Tour Rankings in his rookie season as a professional last year, feels ready to win after serving a solid apprenticeship on the Challenge Tour last season.

“Winning is all I want to do,” he said. “I played well today and my mind was totally clear from the start to finish of the round. That’s when I play my best stuff, when I am not thinking about it too much. I feel ready to win, and I don’t really want to wait much longer to do it.” 

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Tournament Leaderboard

PosPlayer NameNatHolePar
T1CEA, FranciscoESP18-16
T1MILFORD, TimENG18-16
T3VIBE-HASTRUP, MadsDEN18-15
T3DAVIES, GarethENG18-15
5HEATH, JamesENG18-14
T6ARRUTI, Jesus MariaESP18-13
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