Scotland’s Andrew Oldcorn takes a record five stroke lead into the final round of the Volvo PGA Championship as he chases his first title in six years.
A third round of 69 took the Scot to 201, 15 under par, equalling the lowest 54 hole total set by Seve Ballesteros a decade ago, and five strokes clear of his nearest rivals, Angel Cabrera, Philip Price and Niclas Fasth.
No golfer over the age of 40 has ever won the Volvo PGA Championship at Wentworth Club but the 41 year old starts the final round as the overwhelming favourite to capture the title after his record breaking performance. Two birdies on the closing two holes over the West Course at Wentworth Club took him five clear and past the previous largest 54 lead of three strokes set by Bernhard Langer in 1993, Ernie Els in 1994 and Colin Montgomerie last year.
“I’m very, very pleased with the way I went about things today. I made a couple of mental mistakes which is going to happen but all in all I was really pleased with the way I played.
"The only thing I mustn’t do is think of what winning would mean to me. I did that very well today. I know it’s going to be more difficult for me tomorrow but I’m reasonably confident that if I can maintain the same equilibrium that I had today, I will have a chance.
“I think sometimes I am my own worst enemy in these situations, getting in front of myself almost. It’s not an easy task to learn. I’ve been at this for a long, long time and I’ll probably never ever master it, but I suppose I am getting better at it and today I was good at it.”
Price, winner of the Algarve Portuguese Open earlier this year, challenged with birdies on the 12th and 13th and another on the 17th but fell off the pace with a bogey on the last, driving into the fiarway bunker and then misjudging his third and coming up short. The resulting chip and two putts concluded a round of 69 for the Welshman.
“Played quite well but mis-clubbed everywhere,” he said. “Struck the ball quite well but couldn’t get the clubs right. Hit it in all the wrong places.
"Just got to play better, make better judgements and shoot low. The wind was tricky and it was difficult to judge where it was coming from. But tomorrow I’ve just got to come out and judge it as best you can.”
The West Course has not been a favourite hunting ground of Fasth in the past, his highest finish being joint 30th, but the 2000 Madeira Island Open champion remains in contention for his second European Tour title thanks to an outstanding birdie on the last. Having pushed his second shot into the trees on the right, Fasth fashioned a remarkable recovery to 12 feet and holed the putt for a round of 69 and 54 hole total of 206, ten under par.
“I’ll have to play a lot better than I did today, but it’s a great tournament to be in there for the final day and I’m enjoying this.
“My short game has improved this year – something we all know makes a lot of difference. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll feel very excited tomorrow.”
Angel Cabrera, who made his winning breakthrough in Argentina this year, had three birdies cancelled out by three bogeys in a level par 72 to join Price and Fasth on ten under par.
“I hit the wrong ball but made three bogeys because I chose the wrong club. I am confident and feel comfortable on the course. My game is in good shape and there are still 18 holes to play. Oldcorn is playing very well and won’t be easy to catch but it is not impossible.”
Last week’s runner-up and the current leader of the Volvo Order of Merit, Michael Campbell, progressed through the field with a five under par 67 to move into a share of fifth place six shots off the pace alongside double Masters champion José Maria Olazábal and England’s Steve Webster.