Saturday, 19 August 2006

Sweden’s Alexander Noren stamped his authority all over the European Challenge Tour’s Rolex Trophy with a stunning third round of ten under par 62 to open up a five shot lead at the top of the leaderboard going into the final round at the Golf Club de Géneve.

The 25 year old, currently fifth on the Challenge Tour Rankings, was in quite magnificent form as he posted the lowest score of his Challenge Tour career to lead his fellow countrymen Johan Axgren and Oscar Bergman, as well as Englishman Gareth Davies, Argentina’s Rafael Echenique and Mads Vibe-Hastrup of Denmark.

Noren got off to a flying start with four birdies on the spin and then added a further two to turn in 30. That was followed by another four birdies in his next six holes, prompting thoughts of a magical 59, but it was not to be as he parred the last three holes.
“I did think about the 59 but the last threee holes on this course are pretty tough,” said Noren. “And 62 was pretty satisfying anyway – I played well all the way round so it was a good day for me.”

Noren has been one the Challenge Tour’s outstanding players of the season with six top ten finishes, and he would dearly love to add a victory to those statistics, which almost guarantee him a place on The European Tour next year as one of the Challenge Tour’s top 20.

The closest he has come to winning was in Costa Rica at the start of the season when he was defeated by current Number One Axgren in a sudden-death play-off at the Kai Fieberg Costa Rica Open.

Axgren, who posted a third round 69 to move to 16 under for the tournament, has since gone onto dominate the 2006 Rankings, but Noren can close the gap with victory on Sunday afternoon.

“It would be great to win here,” Noren continued. “If I could win this then I would probably guarantee my European Tour card for next season, and that’s why we are playing out here.”

Bergman, Davies, Echenique and Vibe-Hastrup, meanwhile, posted respective third rounds of 65, 68, 68 and 63 to join Axgren in second spot.

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