Nørret lead halved in Austria

9/25/2011 12:20:38 PM
Thomas Norret  (Getty Images)
Thomas Norret (Getty Images)
Dane Thomas Nørret began his quest for a maiden European Tour title with four straight pars at the Austrian GolfOpen presented by Lyoness.

And while that was enough to keep his nearest challengers at bay, Simon Wakefield and Joost Luiten were closing in on the Qualifying School graduate.

Like Nørret, they were both yet to win on The European Tour as an exciting finish beckoned at Diamond Country Club.

Nørret, who began the day nine under par, made a steady start. But his two shot overnight advantage was halved as Luiten birdied the second and Wakefield the third.

English pair Philip Golding and Kenneth Ferrie were one further back on seven under, and while both had won on The European Tour, Golding’s only title was in 2003 and Ferrie’s last victory in 2005.

Spaniard Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño, continuing his comeback from a back injury, showed what was possible as he played the first 17 holes in seven under par to climb to four under for the week, the same mark as Open Championship Silver Medal winner Tom Lewis. 

Nørret made his first birdie of the day at the par five sixth from six feet, but with Luiten gaining a shot at the same hole there was still only one in it.