Klas Eriksson holed a 25 foot putt on the final green to move to the head of the field as the Scottish PGA Championship at Gleneagles moves into the final round. The Swede shot a one under par 71 in the cold and wet conditions to move to seven under par, a shot clear of Dutchman Rolf Muntz.
Eriksson last won on the Challenge Tour in 1993 but has yet to make his European Tour breakthrough. He finished third in the Moroccan Open but has playing most of this year on the Challenge Tour. After starting his round with a double bogey on the first the 28-year-old reached the turn in 38, two over. But he moved back up the leaderboard by holing a 45 foot chip for an eagle on the 503 yards 12th and then, after dropping a shot on the 15th, picked up two birdies in the last three holes to move clear of Muntz.
“It was very tough out there but luckily it was the same for everyone,” said Eriksson. “I didn’t worry when I double bogeyed the first because I knew everyone else would struggle. Then I holed a lot of nice putts on the back nine which were crucial for tomorrow.”
Eriksson won three times in 1993 and feels his time for another victory is close. “I realy want to win. It would be great for my confidence and I feel I deserve a win.”
Overnight leader Muntz battled well in the tough weather to lie just a shot off the lead after recovering from two early three putts. “It was so cold and wet I thought it was going to snow,” he said. “Other than the three putts I played superb golf. I’m in the last match again like I was in the TNT Dutch Open.”
A further shot back is Challenge Tour graduate Roger Winchester who fired three birdies in his opening ten holes but slipped back to five under with three bogeys on the way home.
Andrew Mclardy, a South African with Scottish parents, was the only player to break 70 when he came in with a 69 to move to three under and four off the lead. “It must be the Scottish blood in me,” he commented.
Greig Hutcheon leads the Tartan Tour players after a one over par 73. Hutcheon only got the call that he was playing at lunchtime on Thursday after his third place finish in Russia last week. His first round was a 69 and he is currently one under par.