Austria’s Markus Brier put himself in the frame for a fifth victory on home soil by moving into a three-way tie for the lead with Swede Klas Eriksson and Switzerland’s André Bossert in the MAN NÖ Open.
Brier has already won two Challenge Tour titles in Austria as well as one European Tour title, when in 2006 he became the first Austrian champion on The European Tour, in addition to winning the MAN NÖ Open in 2005 when it was part of the Alps Tour, so has plenty of experience as he chases another home title at GC Adamstal, Ramsau.
Brier picked up four birdies, three on the par fives, in a round of four under par 66 to move to 11 under par and into a share of the lead with Eriksson, who carded a seven under 63, and the overnight leader Bossert, who returned a 69.
But all eyes will be on the Brier, who also won the Volvo China Open on The European Tour International Schedule in 2007.
“I look on it as having home advantage, not added pressure of playing in Austria,” said Brier. “I know the course well and enjoy playing in front of so many friends and family. I feel relaxed and comfortable but I always want to win.”
Bossert was playing in the group behind and while all the attention was understandably on Brier, Bossert is relishing the final day challenge.
Having started out with a two stroke lead, Bossert struggled with his distance control initially, repeatedly hitting his approaches ten metres long and then, in countering that, coming up short. But after back to back bogeys on the 13th and 14th, found his range with a terrific three wood into the par five 15th green to set up an eagle three and a share of the lead.
“The three wood on the 15th was the shot of the tournament for me and, while it was an up and down day, I’m looking forward to tomorrow,” said Bossert, also a European Tour winner.
Eriksson produced the round of the day however, picking up seven birdies including five coming home, for a round of 63 to also lie on 11 under par 199.
Two top fives this year have put the Swede in 23rd place on the Rankings and in a strong position to mount a challenge for a place in the top 20 and a subsequent return to The European Tour and he too has high hopes for the final day showdown.