Pedro Oriol fought hard to stay at the top of the Swedish Challenge hosted by Robert Karlsson leaderboard – a position he shares with Ross Kellett and Mikael Lundberg after 54 holes.
Pedro Oriol fought hard to stay at the top of the leaderboard at the Swedish Challenge hosted by Robert Karlsson – a position he shares with Ross Kellett and Mikael Lundberg after 54 holes.
The Spaniard started the day which a two-shot lead after excellent scores of 64-68, but an early bogey at the second set the tone for what was to be an up and down round.
Birdies at the fourth and sixth were cancelled out by a double bogey at the ninth leaving the Road to Oman Number 15 with work to do after Scotland’s Kellett carded a sublime 64 to set the clubhouse target at 11 under.
A birdie at the 11th was immediately counteracted by a double bogey at the 12th as the 31 year old’s competitors made up ground around him.
Another gain at the 17th took Oriol back to 11 under, a total that was also matched by Sweden’s Lundberg after he signed for a 70.
Having led from the front all week, Oriol believes he has what it takes to get over the line tomorrow.
“I am in a good position,” said Oriol, who played alongside tournament host Karlsson in Katrineholm today.
“Today was definitely tougher. Tricky pin positions, tricky wind and I also made it a bit trickier after some mental mistakes on 12 and nine – that was expensive for me but fought until the end.
“I was looking at the scoreboard on 17 and I knew 11 under was leading – I was ten under – so I knew I had to do something.
“I made birdie there and made a good par at the last, and it was really important to finish well today.
“Tomorrow I will play with confidence, continue to believe in myself and see what I can do. I learnt a little bit today – and I’ll try and build on that experience tomorrow.
“Robert is such a nice guy and it was great to play alongside a multiple European Tour winner and Ryder Cup player today. It is amazing what he is doing for the Challenge Tour – we all have to thank him.”
One shot behind Oriol, Lundberg and Kellet are a group of players on ten under including Englishman Ryan Evans, who after making the cut on the number yesterday bagged eight birdies in a bogey-free 64 to rise up the leaderboard.
Also taking place at Katrineholms Golfklubb today was a ‘Beat The Pro’ Challenge – where two amateurs managed to go closer than the Challenge Tour professionals on the par three 12th hole.
The first to win was C More Golf television presenter Mats Hallberg – a former European Tour player turned commentator.
He put his effort to five feet on the 134-yard hole, while Rikard Fagerström – a member at Katrineholms Golfklubb who has a handicap of five – hit his tee shot to teen feet.
The prize for both men was an all-expenses-paid golf trip to Alicante in Spain – sponsored by Stockholm Skavsta Airport.