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Friday, 19 March 2010

England’s David Horsey will attempt to preserve his 100 per cent record when he heads into the final day of the Telenet Trophy on the European Challenge Tour.

Horsey, who is one shot clear of Brazil’s Alexandre Rocha at Belgium’s Limburg Golf and Country Club, has never lost a tournament in which he has topped the leaderboard after the penultimate round.

The man from Manchester has won on the Europro Tour and was Greek Amateur Open Champion in 2005, but never before on the Challenge Tour – though he is hopeful of righting that wrong tomorrow.

Horsey, who moved to 15 under par after a round of 68, said: “It’d be nice to keep the run going, but it’s not going to be easy. There are a lot of good players out here, and we’re forecast thunderstorms and rain – so it might come down to who deals with the conditions best. But being a northern boy, that might suit me!”

Rocha’s round of 64 was the second lowest of the day, and put the Brazilian – who was the co-winner of the 2006 European Tour Qualifying School – in sight of clinching his maiden Challenge Tour title.

Rocha said: “My biggest worry is keeping my concentration, because as soon as I start playing well, I get into a comfort zone – and then I’m finished.”

Holland’s Wil Besseling, already a winner on this season’s Challenge Tour, is one shot further behind, along with Switzerland’s Raphael de Sousa, who broke the course record with a superb round of 63.

Born in Portugal but raised in Switzerland, de Sousa was keen to put behind him the heartache of the last few days, which have seen both the Portuguese and the host nation knocked out of the European Championships.

De Sousa, twice a runner up on the Challenge Tour this season, said: “It’s been a bad few days, but hopefully tomorrow will put the smile back on my face. To go to the Credit Suisse Challenge in my home country in a few weeks’ time as a winner would be fantastic.”

Another player in contention to land his maiden Challenge Tour title is Inder van Weerelt, who is on 11 under par after closing with three birdies for a round of 65.

Van Weerelt is hoping for a Dutch double when Holland take on Russia. He said: “I think we will beat Russia, but lose in the final – although I hope I’m wrong for once!”

Part-time barman and full-time golfer Phil Worthington of England is simply hoping to give up the day job after a round of 65 shot him firmly into contention.

In a bid to make ends meet during an enforced six month break from golf through injury recently, Worthington had to work six days a week as a stock controller in a warehouse and behind the bar at a local pub. And after seven birdies in a flawless round, the drinks were on him again.

The Londoner said: “All the birdies have given me a headache, because I’m not used to it. I’ve struggled a bit since my wrist injury, so it’s a welcome return to form. Because I haven’t got a sponsor, I had to put the clubs down and work six days a week for six months over the winter to be able to afford to play on the Challenge Tour this year. One of the jobs paid well, and the other was a lot of fun – I’ll leave you to work out which was which!”

Worthington is tied eighth, one shot behind a trio of players on 12 under par: the French duo of Francois Calmels and Jean Pierre Cixous, and Italy’s Michele Reale.
 

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Tournament Leaderboard

PosPlayer NameNatHolePar
1HORSEY, DavidENG18-19
T2BESSELING, WilNED18-18
T2JUUL, SorenDEN18-18
T4VAN WEERELT, InderNED18-16
T4REALE, MicheleITA18-16
T6BERNADET, AdrienFRA18-15
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