Daniel Vancsik (Getty Images)
Daniel Vancsik regained the lead on the third morning of the Rolex Trophy after a round of 64 which included a run of five successive birdies.
The Argentine, who started on the tenth tee, had looked on course to match the course record-equalling round of 62 with which he opened the €220,000 elite event, only to run up a bogey for the second successive day on the par five eighth – which is statistically one of the easiest holes at Golf Club de Genève.
But after closing with his ninth birdie of the day, Vancsik – whose replacement driver eventually arrived in Geneva on Thursday – had set the clubhouse target on 19 under par, one shot clear of former World Amateur Number One Peter Uihlein of America.
The 35 year old is wary of the threat posed by young guns Uihlein and Kristoffer Broberg, the overnight leader who is amongst the afternoon starters, but is nonetheless confident of capturing his fourth Challenge Tour title on the final day in the Swiss capital.
Vancsik, who has been accompanied this week by his wife Valeria and their young son Matheo, said: “I hit it in the water on number eight today, so I don’t think I like that hole very much! But other than that I hit the ball very well, and putted even better. The greens this morning were absolutely perfect, which gives you a lot of confidence. I probably putted even better today than I did on the first day, because I didn’t hit it as close today, so I had to hole some longer putts to make birdie.
“I’m in a very good position at the moment, depending on what the guys do this afternoon. I will probably need to shot a really low round to win, but the way I’m playing I feel confident of making lots of birdies. I had a lot of chances to shoot 62 or even better today – if I can do the same again tomorrow, I will have a great chance of winning.”
Under the watchful eye of his father, Wally – Chairman and Chief Executive of Acushnet, the parent company behind Titleist – Uihlein got off to a slow start, dropping a shot at his second hole, the 11th, for his first bogey of the week.
But he promptly rallied with birdies at the 13th and 14th holes, and made a morale-boosting par on the 16th after hitting his approach into the water, taking a drop and promptly holing his fourth shot with a wedge.
Another birdie at the 17th hole swiftly followed, and after notching four more gains on his back nine, the former US Amateur Champion was signing for a round of 66 and an 18 under par aggregate total.
Uihlein, who counts US PGA Tour champion Rickie Fowler amongst his friends after attending the same college and playing in the same Walker Cup team in 2009, will now go in search of his debut victory since turning professional in a blaze of publicity in December 2011.
He said: “It was another very good day. At this course you’re going to make a lot of birdie chances, but you still have to take them. So I had a good day on the greens, and I’m very pleased with how I’m hitting the ball at the moment, because I’m able to shape it both ways. It’s nice to be creative on the course, because it makes playing the game a lot more fun.
“We’ll see what Kristoffer shoots, but hopefully I won’t be too far back at the end of the day. I’ve been in contention at the last three or four tournaments now, so I’m getting used to seeing my name up near the top of the leaderboard, and I’m getting a lot more comfortable with that.”
With the afternoon starters yet to complete their rounds, Rankings leader Gary Lockerbie of England (67) is currently in third place on 17 under par, one stroke ahead of his compatriot Chris Lloyd, who equalled the course record with an outstanding round of 62.