Saturday, 09 August 2014
Benjamin Hebert ()
Benjamin Hebert ()

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  • Benjamin Hebert (pic by Norwegian Federation)
For the second week running, Benjamin Hebert will enter the final day of a Challenge Tour event as the man to catch after the Frenchman overtook long-time leader Florian Fritsch on the third day of the Norwegian Challenge.

Fritsch had a day to forget on the greens as he slumped to a one over par round of 73, but Hebert’s serene progress continued with a 69 for a 15 under par aggregate total. 

Having also led by three strokes after three rounds of last week’s Azerbaijan Golf Challenge Open, Hebert now finds himself in an identical position on the eve of the final day of the €175,000 event at Miklagard Golf Club.

But the 27 year old from Brive, who already has three Challenge Tour titles to his name, is hopeful of learning from the mistakes he made in Quba seven days ago, when the title slipped from his grasp after a closing round of 76.

In a bid to ensure that history does not repeat itself, Hebert will pick up the phone and formulate a strategy with his coach Olivier Leglise, who also coaches his compatriots Grégory Bourdy and Romain Wattel.   

Hebert said: “I called Olivier on Monday and we talked about where it went wrong for me last week. So I will definitely call him tonight and talk about my strategy for tomorrow. Last Saturday I probably thought about it too much, but tonight I will try to get a good rest and then come out in the morning ready to go from the start.

“I will continue to be aggressive, that’s for sure. I got off to a slow start last week and never really recovered, but this time hopefully it will be different. The key here is to find the fairways off the tee – if I can do that, I should be OK. I’m putting very well so if I can make some birdie chances, I feel confident of taking them.”

In contrast, Fritsch struggled to judge the pace of the greens on a frustrating day for the German, who already has three runner-up finishes to his name.

Fritsch made five bogeys due largely to a putter which turned distinctly cold on a breezy day in Kløfta, on the outskirts of the Norwegian capital Oslo.

The Munich native said: “I actually played pretty well and was reasonably happy with the way I struck the ball, but just putted extremely poorly. I made four or five three-putts and didn’t make enough birdie putts, which tells the story of the round. Probably 80 per cent of my game was working well, but that 20 per cent makes all the difference.

“I was leaving almost every putt short, which was so frustrating because I had the pace of the greens perfectly for the first two days. But I won’t be spending any time on the practice green tonight, I just hope I can get my speed back tomorrow.”

Agustin Domingo is currently in third place after the Spaniard posted seven birdies in a round of 67 which moved him to 11 under par.

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