Saturday, 21 July 2007

Denmark’s Anders Schmidt Hansen gave himself the ideal platform for his maiden Challenge Tour victory when he took control of the MAN NÖ Open in Austria after the third round.

The 29 year old, whose previous best Challenge Tour performance came when he finished second in the Galeria Kaufhof Pokal Challenge in 2005, carded a superb third round 64 at Golfclub Adamstal in Ramsau for a 12 under par total of 198 and a three shot lead going into the final round.

Nearest challenger is England’s Zane Scotland who carded a third round 66 for a nine under par total of 201 while Tiago Cruz of Portugal lies third on eight under par 202 after surging from outside the top 20 at the start of the day with an excellent 63.

These three players seem to have the destiny of the title, won last year by Spain’s Rafael Cabrera Bello, in their hands as the nearest challengers outwith that are on four under par 206, four shots adrift of Cruz and eight behind leader Hansen.

The Dane started the third round in a share of the lead with England’s Robert Dinwiddie and consolidated that position with a steady outward half of two under par 34.

But Hansen grabbed the tournament by the scruff of the neck on the inward half in a scintillating run which featured four birdies in five holes from the 11th to be home in 30.

Second placed Scotland produced a flawless second round 66 and while third placed Cruz did drop a shot – at the 450 yard ninth – he more than made up for that error with eight birdies elsewhere in his 63.

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