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Broberg eight clear after sensational 61

Broberg eight clear after sensational 61

Kristoffer Broberg will take a commanding eight shot lead into the final round of the 2021 Dutch Open after firing an 11 under par 61 on Saturday to set a new course record at Bernardus Golf.

Kristoffer Broberg

Overnight leader Broberg flew out of the blocks on day three, firing an eagle and four birdies in his opening six holes to stretch his advantage from one to five shots early on.

The 35-year-old had to show his battling qualities during a sticky patch in the middle of his round, producing a stunning par save at the tenth to escape further damage after he had dropped his first shot of the day on the ninth.

And he soon rediscovered his form, notching further gains at the 11th, 12th, 14th, 15th, 16th and 17th to raise hopes of the second 59 on the European Tour.

But he was unable to get the eagle he needed to shoot that mythical number and had to settle for a sensational 61 which took him to 23 under par.

Marcus Helligkilde was Broberg's nearest challenger on 15 under after making seven birdies and three bogeys in his 68, one shot ahead of Matthias Schmid, Alejandro Cañizares and Richard Mansell.

Broberg announced himself to the golfing world in August 2012 as he won three events in four weeks on the European Challenge Tour, and just over three years later he was a European Tour winner at the 2015 BMW Masters.

The ride since then has been anything but smooth, with hip and knee injuries contributing to him playing just 11 events between 2018 and 2020.

He began day three with a slender lead but soon found himself in a much more comfortable position after getting off to a lightning quick start.

After opening his round with a close range birdie, the Swede sent his approach at the third to six feet before coolly slotting in his birdie putt. 

He then muscled his second shot at the long fourth to 11 feet and converted the eagle putt to get to 16 under. 

And Broberg refused to take his foot off the gas, holing back to back birdie putts from around 30 feet at the fifth and sixth to get to 18 under par and move five shots clear at the top of the leaderboard.

An errant tee shot at the par five seventh threatened to stall his progress but a stunning recovery from the heather helped him save par there and he made another par on the next.

Broberg carded his only bogey of the day on the ninth, three putting from 61 feet after missing the fairway with his tee shot, but he still found himself three clear at the turn.

After enjoying plain sailing over the first six holes, Broberg was having to show a different side to his game and he dug deep again to save par on the tenth, getting up and down from a greenside bunker to keep his three shot lead intact.

And he was soon back on the birdie trail, picking up shots with putts from ten and five feet respectively at the 11th and 12th to move to 19 under.

Broberg continued to impress on the greens, rolling in another birdie putt from 14 feet on the 14th before sinking his lengthy effort from the fringe on the 15th to jump to 21 under.

And he made another from eight feet on the 16th before notching his fourth straight birdie from 20 feet on the 17th to move eight ahead.

Knowing he needed an eagle at the last for a round of 59, Broberg did not hold back at the 18th tee but sent his drive straight into a bunker and had to make do with a par.

Broberg said: "It was a great day. I played solid in the beginning, then I was struggling a little bit from seven to ten, but it was pretty good in the end and the putter is just smoking hot.

"It is just rolling purely, and I see every single line, so golf is easy when it is like that.

"I have been struggling all year with my game and my putting - you know I was looking at the stats and I was working hard on the putting.

"I saw an optician in Sweden and put a contact lens in the right eye so that was key, and now I can see the lines but in the beginning I played some really good golf.

"Key shots into one, two, three and a really good shot on four.

"I wasn’t thinking about 59 because I don’t like that tee shot and I’ve had a problem all year with my set up, I don’t feel a lot of confidence over the ball with the driver or the woods, so I just aimed left.

"I am just going to take one shot at a time and I’ll watch the leaderboard to see what the guys do but just play my own game. Keep it simple."

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