Trio make most of Storm's stumble

08/09/2012 15:41:00
Pablo Larrazabal  (Getty Images)
Pablo Larrazabal (Getty Images)

Pablo Larrazábal, Scott Jamieson, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño and Graeme Storm will share the lead heading into the final round of the KLM Open after the latter was punished for his first mistakes at Hilversumsche GC.

When Storm, three clear overnight, opened up a five shot advantage by reaching 14 under this afternoon, the remainder of the field looked as though they may have been playing for second place.

However, after birdies at seven, ten – where he almost registered a hole in one – and 12, the previously untroubled Englishman finally dropped his first shot of the week on the 13th.

A wayward drive then led to another bogey at 14 and Storm was duly caught by three players finishing strongly on a glorious day in the Netherlands.

Larrazábal birdied five of his last six holes en route to a 64 – the equal best round of the day - while Jamieson and Fernandez-Castaño each picked up shots on 17 and 18 to shoot 66.

Peter Hanson, part of Europe’s Ryder Cup Team and another player to birdie the final two, was one off the pace at 11 under, with an absorbing final day in prospect.

Storm, 114th on The Race to Dubai, attempted to remain positive, despite losing his healthy lead.

“I had two bad swings on 13 and 14,” he explained. “I had the tournament in the palm of my hand before that, but it should be a good day tomorrow. I’ve only had two bogeys in 54 holes, which is quite impressive.

“It’s difficult leading like I was. I have a lot of things on my mind at the moment with keeping my card, so I’m just looking at getting the best result I can.

“Tomorrow, keeping my card will be in the back of my mind, but I have given myself the chance to win and if I am in there with six holes to go I will go for it.”

Larrazábal was understandably delighted with his late charge.

“I played great, on the front nine as well as the back,” said the Spaniard.

“I will attack whatever I can attack tomorrow. I’ve not been in contention for a while, so I am going to have some fun and try to compete for the title.”

Larrazábal ‘s fellow countryman, Fernandez-Castaño, was similarly satisfied with his efforts and took time to praise Storm, who he regards as a close friend.

“Right now I am where I want to be,” said Fernandez-Castaño. “It is going to be fun tomorrow.

“Graeme was disappointed, but I told him in the recording area that he has the game to win this. I know he is thinking about his card but he has to forget about that.

“He is a good friend of mine, so he knows I wish him all the best and he has done it before.”

After seeing Paul Lawrie and Richie Ramsay triumph in recent weeks, Jamieson is aiming to become the third Scottish winner in succession on the European Tour.

“It would be great to get a Scottish hat-trick,” he admitted.

“Winning is always difficult, but I will be trying tomorrow. I’ve been working on the right things.”

Ramsay and Henrik Stenson matched Larrazábal’s 64 to climb into contention.

Last week’s winner and Danny Willett, who tied for second at Crans-sur-Sierre, ended the day nine under, with Stenson one worse off alongside Nicolas Colsaerts.