Friday, 19 March 2010

Steve Alker, David Carter and Ross Fisher are leading the KLM Open but with 21 players within four strokes of the lead the race is wide open going into the final round at Kennemer Golf and Country Club.

Carter, the overnight leader, looked as though he had reclaimed top spot with birdies on the 16th and 17th holes but the Englishman bogeyed the 18th for a one over par 71 to drop back into the share of the lead.

Both his co-leaders are looking for maiden full tour titles. New Zealander Alker, struggling to retain his card for next year from his position of 184th in the Order of Merit, posted a 69.

Fisher, who was sharing the lead in the The European Tour’s flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club in May with a round to go, carded a 68.

England’s Fisher, 26, in his second year on Tour, also had a chance to win the Dubai Desert Classic in early February but, playing alongside World Number One Tiger Woods, had to settle for fifth place. He is hoping his Dubai and Wentworth experiences will stand him in good stead in the final round at Kennemer.

"Dubai was an amazing experience," Fisher said, "shooting two 65s and playing with Ernie (Els) on the Saturday and Tiger on Sunday. A lot of guys wait their whole careers to do that and this is only my second year on Tour.

"Wentworth was fantastic for three days and disastrous for one day. I know I'm ready to win."
Carter cited the conditions for a stumbling start that cost him his lead but was happy he was able to battle back.

"It was a bit nerve-wracking for a period with all the attention and the wind was in a totally different direction to the first three days," said Carter, who won the Irish Open in 1998 and partnered Nick Faldo to victory in the World Cup the same year.

“It wasn’t that pretty but that is part of the fun,” he added. “You watch Tiger Woods and he makes it look so easy but this is how it is for mere mortals. It is not that easy, especially when you have not been in this position for some time. I will get a lot of positives from today. And I am sure there are not many players on that leaderbaord who have won on The European Tour and hopefully I can draw on that little bit of experience I have had. Hopefully that will help me tomorrow.”

Alker, can rid himself of his card worries with a solid finish to the week.

“I played nicely, hit a couple of loose shots but overall pleased with the day and if I can get a few putts to drop I will be okay,” said the New Zealander. “It is the most wind we have played in all week and I found it a bit tricky to adjust. I had a lot of good putts but they just didn’t drop and maybe I am saving them for tomorrow.”

Just two shots off the pace lie the experienced Ryder Cup pair of Thomas Levet of France and Welshman Phillip Price, alongside Ireland’s David Higgins and home favourite, Joost Luiten on seven under par.

Bernhard Langer, who turns 50 on Monday, lies four strokes off the lead. The German is looking to become the European Tour's oldest winner by claiming his 43rd tour title.


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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1FISHER, RossENG18-12
2LUITEN, JoostNED18-11
T3ALKER, SteveNZL18-8
T3LEVET, ThomasFRA18-8
T3NOREN, AlexanderSWE18-8
T3LANGER, BernhardGER18-8
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