Denmark’s Thorbjorn OIesen has a three shot lead heading into the final round of The Princess after carding a stunning six under par 65 on day three at Båstad Golf Club.
Olesen overhauled his rivals with three birdies on each nine to reach 13 under for the tournament, three in front of Swedes Oscar Floren, who carded a level par 71, and overnight leader Alexander Bjork, who could not match the form which yielded a 62 in the second round and had to settle for a 74. Another Swede, Peter Gustafsson, is in fourth place after a one under par 70.
Birdies at the third, fifth, eighth, tenth, 14th and 16th holes propelled Olesen into the lead and the runner-up in the Mugello Tuscany Open in May was delighted with his performance.
“It was fantastic, I played really well,” he said. “I didn’t make any mistakes which was the key. I holed some good putts and I was three under after nine which got me going. I played very steady. It was tough out there in this wind so I just had to concentrate on hitting the greens.
“I’ve played better every day here. I played badly in the pro-am on Wednesday but since then I’ve improved a lot and feel great now.
“Of course, there will be a few nerves tomorrow. But I’ve just got to stick to my game and keep doing the same thing in terms of preparing and staying focused. I’ve got to try and hit as many fairways as I can and I think that is the key because it’s tough if you go in the rough here – particularly with the new grooves and the greens becoming harder and harder each day.
“It would be lovely to have my first win here.”
Asked if he was surprised his rivals near the top of the leaderboard did not score lower today, Olesen replied: “No, not at all. It was really tough out there – very windy.”
Floren was disheartened with his score and blamed his out-of-sorts short game for not shooting lower.
“It’s very disappointing,” he said. “I played great but made some mistakes. I birdied the ninth, tenth and 11th to go three under for the day but I missed the green on the 12th – the first one I’d missed all day – and couldn’t get up and down.
“I just couldn’t get up and down when I missed the greens. On the 18th I hit a terrible tee shot but a good second, however, the same thing happened. My short game let me down again.
“Thorbjorn is a great player and has had some great results this year so I’m going to have my work cut out to catch him tomorrow. But three shots is do-able in golf and maybe it’s easier coming from behind – maybe there’s a little less pressure and expectation. If I hole some putts we’ll see.”
Bjork, 20, playing his first Challenge Tour event, said: “I found it a lot tougher today. My swing felt bad and all the things that felt great yesterday didn’t go well today.”
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