Saturday, 04 July 2015
Day 3 Highlights - Alstom Open de France

A best of the week round of 64 gave South African Jaco Van Zyl a two shot lead on day three of the Alstom Open de France.

The 36 year old has won 13 times on the Sunshine Tour, but despite 17 top-ten finishes has yet to breakthrough on The European Tour.

A knee injury meant Van Zyl missed much of last season, but playing on a medical exemption and with a brace on his leg, he has already finished second on home soil at the Joburg Open and third in Morocco in 2015.

That sort of form was prevalent once again today, as seven birdies in a flawless round took Van Zyl two clear of Max Kieffer on ten under par, a tap-in at Le Golf National's tricky 18th completing his scoring.

“Today was really a phenomenal round,” said Van Zyl. “I felt really comfortable tee to green and made a couple of nice putts.

“I hit it really well; I think I missed one fairway, hit 18 out of 18 greens, and made a couple of putts when I needed to.”

Van Zyl had been in a strong position during Friday’s second round, but after bogeying the 17th hit his approach to the last onto a bridge behind the green en route to a double bogey six. 

“I was in a similar position yesterday, and finished in an ambulance,” he added. “It's the sort of golf course where you can't really let your guard down - you have to stay on top of things.”

While he may not have experienced victory on The European Tour, Van Zyl hopes his experiences in South Africa will stand him in good stead.

“I think it will play a big role,” said the World Number 164. “At the end of the day, it's the same situation, although the stage is a lot bigger. I've been in this position a couple of times; hopefully tomorrow we can pull through. 

“I'm really looking forward to tomorrow.”

Kieffer is also chasing a maiden European Tour title, and the 25 year old German carded six birdies in a bogey-free 65. 

The highlight came when Kieffer, for whom this week represents a 17th made cut in as many events this season, spun his approach to tap in range on the penultimate hole.

“It feels amazing,” said Kieffer, who came closest to entering the winner’s circle when he lost a record-equalling nine-hole sudden-death play-off to Raphael Jacquelin in the Open de España two years ago.

“I don't really expect it to be honest to shoot that low, but obviously the course played a little bit easier today. 

“I feel like I'm good enough to win. I think I learned enough in the last two tournaments where I was in the final round with a chance to win, but we will see. 

“I don't know if it's the time. I just have to hit good golf shots tomorrow and then we will see.”

In-form Austrian Bernd Wiesberger lies third on seven under par after a round of 65, with home favourite Victor Dubuisson, two-time Major winner Martin Kaymer and Open de España champion James Morrison a shot further back.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
2MORRISON, JamesENG18-10
3VAN ZYL, JacoRSA18-8
4KAYMER, MartinGER18-7

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