Swede sinks ace for sweet 62 in Oslo

8/10/2013 8:33:59 PM
Jens Fahrbring (golfari.fi/Kai Kilappa) ()
Jens Fahrbring (golfari.fi/Kai Kilappa) ()
Jens Fahrbring described it as the best round of his life as the Swede sank a hole-in-one en route to a course record ten under par 62 and a one-shot lead at the Norwegian Challenge, having only just made the cut on the mark earlier in the day.

The second round resumed early on Saturday morning after an overnight suspension due to darkness and Fahrbring crept into the final two rounds after a level par second round 72 left him on three under, seven shots off the lead.

But the Swede, who was also in contention at last week’s Finnish Challenge, hit his stride from the off when he teed up in the afternoon, holing a monster putt for eagle at the 11th – his second – before carding seven birdies and an ace to move to 13 under, one clear of compatriot Pontus Widegren and Englishman Phillip Archer.

“Today was just crazy,” said the 29 year old. “I started by making a 50-foot putt on 11 and that was pretty much the first putt I made all week, and then I made a birdie at the next to keep it going.

“It’s hard to describe what even happened out there today, it was just a blur. I just got in the zone. I had some birdies going out and then carried that into the back nine with birdies on one, two and three.

“To ace it then at the eighth was just incredible. It was a perfect round for me – the best of my life. For the hole-in-one I was standing on the tee and not sure about the wind because it died a little. I figured it was downwind all of a sudden though and needed a perfect eight iron and I did that, hit it perfect.

“I didn’t see it up on the green but there was someone up there shouting and screaming so I figured it must have gone in the hole. It was just that type of day for me.”

In his first full season on the European Challenge Tour, Fahrbring earned his best result of the year last week courtesy of a tied third finish at the Finnish Challenge and he feels he learned a lot from his first experience in a final group, lessons which could go a long way on Championship Sunday.

“I learned a lot from being in the last group in Finland,” he said. “I played too tense to win there, especially on the greens. I was too tense with my hands and my arms but you have to be up there to learn so hopefully I can take that with me into tomorrow and just go out and try make some birdies. 

“I really like the course here so we’ll see what happens tomorrow.”

Fahrbring will at least have some familiar company in the final group at the Oslo venue, after his close friend and compatriot Widegren also had stunning finish to day three, carding an eagle at the 17th and a birdie at the final hole for a four under 68 to move to within one shot of the lead on 12 under.

Widegren is another player with very little Challenge Tour experience having just turned professional in June, but he cannot wait to battle it out in the final group in just his fifth start on the Challenge Tour.

“I know Jens really well and we’re close friends because we’re both from Stockholm,” said the 22 year old, playing on an invite this week. “He’s a really nice guy and a pleasure to be around.

“It will be exciting. I saw his name on the leaderboard and figured he must have gone really low. I saw a bunch of people on 11 under so thought if I holed my birdie on the last we might play together and I did it, so that was nice.

“I think we’ll both be more relaxed playing together. We were partners in a little match in the practice round and we both played well but now we’re opponents. It will still be fun though.”

Archer, meanwhile, is the only player in the final group who has been hugging the top of leaderboard since day one and his three under par 69, including two birdies to finish, meant he will play in the final three-ball.

The 41 year old has won three times on the Challenge Tour and believes that experience could prove decisive on the final stretch.

“I had a six-footer for birdie on the last and I thought, ‘this will put me in the final group’ so that was a big one,” said the Warrington man, who finished 29th in The European Tour Order of Merit in 2007.

“I will go out and do the same things tomorrow and hopefully the putter gets a little bit hotter and I can hit it closer to give myself those proper chances.

“A bit of experience has got to count for something and I know there are a few lads up there near the top that have won before, but I just have to look after myself and if I play well I’ll put myself in contention.”

Daniel Im carded seven birdies in a row on the way to an eight under par 64 as the American moved to tied fourth on 11 under par, alongside Spain’s Alvaro Velasco (68), who just missed out on this title last year, losing to Swede Kristoffer Broberg in a play-off.