England’s Stuart Davis produced a magical finish to storm into a three shot lead at the Oceanico Developments Pro-Am Challenge with 18 holes to play at the Marriott Worsley Park Hotel and Country Club.
Standing on the 12th tee, Davis was one behind second round leader Michael Lorenzo-Vera of France, but five birdies in his closing seven holes saw him card a third round score of six under 64 and put him in control of the tournament on 15 under 195 – three clear of England’s Ross McGowan (69) and four ahead of Lorenzo-Vera (72).
Germany’s Tobias Dier is in fourth place after his colourful 66 took him to ten under. Dier’s third round was quite extraordinary, starting with six birdies in a row and ending with a card that contained and eagle two, eight birdies, five pars, two bogeys and two double bogeys.
While Dier was riding a third round roller coaster, Davis was surging into the lead with that outstanding finish that put him in a fantastic position to close out his maiden Challenge Tour win in his home country.
“I have been playing very recently and the putts have started to drop for me this week which has been the big difference. Today I holed a few great putts for birdie and a couple of really crucial par putts that kept me going.
“Then once I got through the 11th I knew there were a few good birdie chances and I put together a really strong finish.
“I just have to keep calm tomorrow and try to do the same things. I could have a great start or a really bad start, but I just have to trust what I am doing. It will be difficult because the last time I was in this position was in Italy and I had a poor final round, but I have learned from that.
“In Italy I kept looking at leaderboards and when I saw some people going past me I tried to chase it instead of staying within my own little zone.”
Davis will have the help of family and friends to keep him in the zone as he enters the final stretch of the tournament. His parents and girlfriend have been with him for every shot of the week so far, while childhood friend, Leighton Horsley, a Member of the Marriott Hotel and Country Club, has been an invaluable source of support on his bag.
“It was good to have the support and great to have Leighton caddieing for me because I have been known to get a bit hot-headed on the golf course which I have a bit of a reputation for. But I have worked hard on that aspect of things over the last few weeks which is really helping.
“I felt that I was getting out of control and that I was getting really down on myself, but I have addressed it and having Leighton on the bag this week helps a lot because if I get out of line he’ll just laugh at me and that will soon bring me back in line. Having someone laughing at you when you are having a tantrum is even worse than them telling you off!”