Not even Tiger Woods could win his first professional event, but Chris Wood, who less than a month ago produced the best performance by an amateur in a Major for ten years, has kept alive the dream of doing just that at the SAS Masters.
Fifth in The Open Championship at Royal Birkdale, the 20 year old from England started his third round in Stockholm by sinking an 86 yard pitch for an eagle two and went to the turn in a brilliant 29.
Wood, looking to improve on his second round 67, leapt from three under par to eight under as a result and was only one behind leaders Søren Kjeldsen and Peter Hanson, who have played nine holes.
England’s Nick Dougherty, 15th on the Ryder Cup table and leading with Hanson overnight, had gone two in front at nine under when he birdied the 479 yard third and Hanson bogeyed it.
But the Swede came back with birdies of his own at the fifth and seventh, while Kjeldsen stormed up the leaderboard with birdies at the third, eighth and ninth. Dougherty, meanwhile, dropped a stroke at the ninth and sits third.
Wood, who decided to leave the amateur ranks a week after his Birkdale heroics, had begun his new career on Thursday by hitting his very first shot into water.
But he got his own back on the hole with his eagle, then added birdies on the fourth, fifth and eighth.
Elsewhere, Pelle Edberg, Gary Orr and Patrik Sjoland are seven under.
German Martin Kaymer, who needs a top 12 finish tomorrow to move back into the Ryder Cup top 10 with only two more weeks of the race to go, was in a tie for 13th at four under with one hole to play.
Kaymer was knocked out of an automatic qualifying spot by Sergio Garcia's runner-up finish at the US PGA Championship last Sunday, but was looking to take advantage of the absence of ninth-placed Oliver Wilson and tenth-placed Soren Hansen from Sweden this week.
He could even got ahead of Justin Rose in eighth position by taking a top three finish tomorrow.
Sam Walker shot a superb 64 to set the clubhouse target at six under par.