Friday, 19 March 2010
Austrian Golf Open - Round Three  (Getty Images)
Austrian Golf Open - Round Three (Getty Images)

Benn Barham has only one thing on his mind going into the final round of the Austrian Golf Open - winning his first European Tour title.

The Englishman moved a step closer to realising his dream as he established a three shot lead after the third round at Fontana Golf Club in Oberwaltersdorf just outside Vienna.

“For me tomorrow, a win is what I want,” he said. “I am not too interested in anything else. If I win, fantastic, if not, so be it. You want to win tournaments, not count how many euros I need to keep my card. I just want to win golf tournaments, whether it is the Austrian Open, The Open or a Pro-Am at my local course, I just want to win tournaments.”

Barham - a part-time house DJ away from the golf course - produced six birdies to atone for a double bogey on the par three seventh in a third round 67 which took him to 17 under for the week.

That leaves him three clear of Ryder Cup Dane Søren Hansen, with Australia’s Richard Green a stroke further back in third.

Barham started the day well with a birdie at the first but encountered trouble at the seventh and walked off with a double bogey five.

That temporarily saw him slip out of sole possession of the lead but he responded with a great putt to birdie the ninth and came back in a four under 32.

At 175th on The Race to Dubai Barham is only too aware that a win here would secure his card on The European Tour for a fourth year running.

“It was the way you want to play every week, hit fairways, hit greens and hole a few putts,” he added. “We all want that and if you could bottle these feelings and shots you would be on to something. It makes you wonder sometimes what you have been doing the last seven months. But you learn and it makes you stronger.”

Hansen’s 65 was a joint-best score of the day and propelled the highest-ranked player in the field into contention.

“Hopefully I can go out tomorrow and produce the same sort of golf,” said The Ryder Cup star. “But there is the potential for a low score out there and I will have to go out and play very good golf.”

Green’s 69 contained four birdies and two bogeys but the left-hander admitted he could have scored better.

“It was an okay day,” said the 2007 champion. “Probably didn't make the opportunities I should have throughout the day and had a few scratchy holes here and there but it becomes a real pressure game over the weekend. You try and push and maybe things don't quite come off. I just didn't make the birdies coming in over the back nine.”

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
2BARHAM, BennENG18-19
3HANSEN, SorenDEN18-17
4BLAND, RichardENG18-15
T6BENSON, SeveENG18-13
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