Wil Besseling of the Netherlands assumed control of the II Club Colombia Masters going into the final round.
The 22 year old dropped just one stroke in 23 holes on Saturday after finishing his rain-delayed second round 66 and then going back out on the fairways of the Country Club de Bogotá for a third round 69 that took him two strokes clear of Denmark’s Mark Haastrup and Finland’s Antti Ahokas.
Besseling is now 11 under par for the tournament, two clear Haastrup and Ahokas, with the experienced Colombian, Álvaro Pinedo, who carding a 67 to move into fourth place, only three strokes behind the leader.
A stroke further back, in a tie for fifth spot are Sweden’s Klas Eriksson, 70, and England’s Seve Benson, who carded a best of the day 65 to climb 37 places on the leaderboard.
With the Bogotá Country Club’s course still quite soft and open to low scores, Besseling will have to go low if he wants to resist a hungry chasing pack.
The top fifteen players are within six strokes of each other, which should provide an exciting final round at this the last Challenge Tour / Tour de las Americas co-sanctioned event of the 2008 season.
Besseling, though, is relishing the opportunity to close out his maiden Challenge Tour victory.
He said: “It didn’t start that good. I made plenty of pars early, but my swing didn’t feel like the past two days. You know, sometimes your swing doesn’t feel that well and you get around making up and down, and that’s what happened to me today. Fortunately, later in the round I felt better and I was able to take the lead and hold it,” commented the outright leader.
“When you are not playing well you have to be patient, make pars and whenever you get an opportunity to make birdie go for it. I did a good job today, but there are 18 holes left to play and that’s a lot.
“Tomorrow it will be a good experience. I will go out there to enjoy it and see what happens. This is the Challenge Tour, a higher level, and it will be awesome to win tomorrow.”