The South Korean arrived in the East of France this week knowing that if he didn’t seal a good result at Golf de Gouverneur, he would be on the next flight back the USA, where he is based, and finished for the season on the Challenge Tour.That pressure must have given An, known by his friends as ‘Ben’, an extra lift as he proceeded to card a three under par third round of 68 to move to within one shot of the lead and in with a shot of his first professional title after a glittering amateur career.
After an opening round of 71, An stormed into contention on the second day thanks to a six under par round of 65 and thanks to birdies at all three of the par fives in Lyon followed by a birdie at the 18th - courtesy of a superb iron shot from the rough to eight feet - he will play in the final group on Championship Sunday.“It was a steady day,” said An, “I only made one bogey and didn’t make many mistakes and to finish with a birdie on the last felt pretty good.
“I had a lot of chances of three-putts today because a lot of putts passed about five or six feet past the hole but I managed to convert them for pars so they were important, but it was a grind on the greens.
“I had to play well here just to make sure I have a Challenge Tour card for next year but I was playing pretty well in the last few weeks and hitting it well so I just needed to play my game.“It will be my first time in the final group and it’s supposed to be rainy tomorrow so it will be fun. I love to play, I don’t care what group I’m in. I just want to play and hopefully my game will stay like this. I can’t wait; it’s going to be a big day.”