Friday, 19 March 2010

Ryder Cup hopeful Oliver Wilson has set the early clubhouse lead at five under par after shooting a fine third round score of 66 at The KLM Open.

It is still a way short of the eight under par mark reached by Darren Clarke, Robert Rock and Alexander Noren after 36 holes, but it was especially good considering the one hour interruption caused by lightning.

He started in quiet fashion, taking par at each of the first five holes, but reignited his charge with birdies at both the sixth and seventh.

The Englishman, who is currently ninth in the Ryder Cup standings, then collected a third birdie at the 12th before finishing on a high with a birdie at the last.

Elsewhere, Chapchai Nirat and Lee Slattery moved to four under par after 54 holes.

Especially impressive was Nirat’s recovery from a slow start. He shot a bogey six at the second, but responded with birdies at the seventh and ninth to go out in 35.

Another stroke followed at the tenth before an eagle at the 12th took him to four under for his round and the tournament. A string of six pars followed to give him a score of 66.

Slattery, meanwhile, came into the weekend at one under, but fell back to level par with a bogey at the sixth.

He reacted with birdies at the seventh and ninth before collecting strokes at both the 11th and 12th to go four under. He finished with six straight pars for a three under par round.

On the course, Clarke, Noren and Rock remain at eight under through three, but Ross McGowan birdied two of his first four to go nine under after four.

A chip-in birdie on the opening hole did not prove the start of something big for Justin Rose.

Resuming on four under par, Rose immediately moved from 14th to 10th.

But he three-putted the par five next for a bogey six, then failed to get up and down after missing the fourth green.

At three under Rose, eighth in the Ryder Cup standings entering the last two tournaments, was down into a share of 25th, but it got worse with another bogey at the fifth. He took a par at the next, but is a way off the lead at two under through eight.

Dane Soren Hansen, currently in the tenth and last automatic qualifying spot, has also struggled. He started at six under, but having parred the first he took a tripple bogey eight at the second to go three under. A bogey followed at the next and he is currently two under through four.

German Martin Kaymer, 11th on the table, had a terrible time on the front nine and looked like leaving himself with much to do in the race-ending Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles.

He had a double bogey seven on the second, bogeyed the long seventh and then dropped two more shots on the 222 yard eighth.

That put the 23 year old down to three over and joint 61st of the 68 who had made the cut. However, birdies at the tenth and 11th have brought him back to one over through 14.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1CLARKE, DarrenNIR18-16
2MCGINLEY, PaulIRL18-12
3STENSON, HenrikSWE18-11
T4WARREN, MarcSCO18-9
T4SLATTERY, LeeENG18-9
T6HANSEN, SorenDEN18-8
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