Australian Richard Green maintained his three stroke advantage in the KLM Open as he closes in on ending a seven-year wait for his second European Tour title at Hilversumsche Golf Club.
With Green shooting a three under par 67 to lie on 15 under par, three clear of England’s David Lynn, who shot a 65, and the chasing pack a further four adrift the final day looks to be a shoot out between the two in the final pairing.
Green put into practice all he had learned from playing with seven time Volvo Order of Merit winner Colin Montgomerie to stay patient and remain in control in The Netherlands. Having watched the Scot hold firm on the Saturday over the years he now hopes to carry that knowledge into the final round to capture his first title since wining the 1997 Dubai Desert Classic.
“I’m definitely very pleased with the way I played today,” said Green. “It was good practice for the conditions tomorrow. I feel I have learnt over the years from playing with some pretty experienced players. Today it was a similar day that guys like Monty would treat the Saturday and if I can play like them on Sunday as well I would be pretty happy.
“Players like Monty are very solid under pressure. They don’t try and do too much. Wait for the birdies to come along and it appears to be very solid golf. That was on of my goals this week.”
When Green won in Dubai, beating Greg Norman and Ian Woosnam in a play-off during his first full season on The European Tour, the left hander looked to have the world at his feet. It has taken him a few years to regain the burning desire to win that drove him in his early days but he has got that feeling back again this year.
Twice he has come close to winning this year with successive runners-up finishes in the Open de France and the Smurfit European Open and now he is on the bring of victory.
“It would be a huge weight off the shoulders if I won. As a junior I wanted to win and when I won in Dubai the will to win was like nothing else. It has taken me a long time to get that will to win back. It has been floating around for a couple of years now and it would be really nice to do it. I have just got to make sure wanting to win so badly doesn’t get in my way. It is going to be a battle against myself. I need to stay in the moment, keep to the game plan I have played to this week and it will take care of itself.”
Lynn looks the most likely player to stop Lynn winning the KLM Open, a third round 65, five under par, advancing him to 12 under par and hot on Green’s heels.
“I hit some good shots down the first few,” said Lynn who is chasing his maiden Tour title. “Hit two or three in very close which got me off to a nice start. Managed to hold on and finish off well today.
“Looking at the board there are no one who really made a move today. Both of us are pretty clear of third place so it is down to us at the moment.”
Englishmen Andrew Raitt, 71, and Andrew Marshall, 65, lie on eight under par 202 alongside Ireland’s Paul McGinley, who remains in the running with a two under par 68 as he chases his dream of making the European Ryder Cup Team.
“I put myself in position,” said McGinley. “I am in third place. Okay I am a long way behind the leader but I can’t influence what he is doing. He is on a hot week and playing really well. I will go out tomorrow and try and shoot as low as I can and see what happens after that.”