Robert Dinwiddie and Peter Whiteford will go head to head in a battle to become the Challenge Tour’s most prolific champion of 2007 in the last match of the third round of the Toscana Open Italian Federation Cup.
The Englishman and the Scot posted hugely impressive scores of 63 and 64 to vault to the top of the halfway leaderboard on 11 and ten under par, with England’s Robert Coles and the Swede, Mikael Lundberg sharing third place on nine under with 36 holes to play at Le Pavoniere Golf Club.
Dinwiddie and Whiteford are two of eight double winners on the Challenge Tour this year, and both men are hungry to secure the third victory that would guarantee promotion to The European Tour in fine style.
The pair played together in the third round of the Scottish Challenge presented by Bank of Scotland Corporate when Dinwiddie emerged the winner with a brilliant display of golf.
That gave the Englishman the confidence to win his second title of the season the following week at the Rolex Trophy, two results that have been largely responsible for lifting the 25 year old to his current position of eight on the Challenge Tour Rankings.
“I played really solid again today,” said a somewhat modest Dinwiddie after registering ten birdies and just a single dropped shot en route to resetting the course record at the Arnold Palmer designed Le Pavoniere.
“My focus just now is playing well here for the next two rounds. I am not thinking too far ahead to the Grand Final or what I have to do to try and win the rankings or anything like that.
“I am playing well, and with confidence just now and having won a couple of times on the Challenge Tour this season I feel that I I play well over the four rounds then I have will be there or thereabouts on the leaderboard.
“The confidence is there but you still have to play well and go out and play the game. I have 36 holes to play here which is an awful lot, so I’ll be focusing purely on the third round and trying to put together another good score tomorrow.”
Whiteford may have lost out to Dinwiddie in his native Scotland in August, but the 27 year old could easily be forgiven for thinking that this is his time. Who wouldn’t if they had won two out of their last three tournaments and riding on the highest wave of confidence in their professional career?
“I’m certainly enjoying it,” said Whiteford, who chipped in for an eagle three on the third hole during his 64.
“I played great again today and the key to all of my recent success has been my putting. That has been my Achilles heel for a long time, but I am putting so well just now that I am just seeing the lines and hitting them.
“My long game as always been pretty solid, but the knock-on effect from the confidence of winning has improved that as well. I am very happy with how it’s going at the moment.”