Jorge Campillo kept his momentum going in the third round to emerge as the sole leader going into the decider at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters at the Education City Golf club yesterday.
Looking for his second European Tour title, Campillo played a third round 67 to take a one-shot lead over title-less veteran Scot David Drysdale and Dane Jeff Winther into the final day of the tournament.
The Spaniard started the day in a share of the lead and picked up five shots in six holes around the turn to move three ahead and into a commanding position.
However, his 44-hole bogey-free streak came to an end on the 12th. Campillo’s sixth birdie of the day too was cancelled out by a bogey on the 15th, as he came home in level par for a 14-under total.
“It was tough, especially the last four holes into the wind, so it wasn’t playing easy at all. The front nine wasn’t windy, it was playing easy, and the back nine was tough. I missed a few short putts but overall a good last three holes,” Campillo said.
“I am in a good position for tomorrow but still 18 holes to go. It is going to be a tough day tomorrow, but I am glad with the position I am in right now because I wasn’t playing good, so being leader after three days after the last few weeks is nice,” the 33year-old said.
Campillo won his maiden title Trophee Hassan II in April 2019 and is hopeful of another good day today.
“If I had not won a golf tournament already I would have been a little bit nervous coming into tomorrow, but since I have won, it is a little bit more familiar, so I will still be a little nervous but hopefully tomorrow I can play as good as today and win.”
England’s Andy Sullivan began the third round in a tie for the lead with Campillo, but three bogeys and a double-bogey on the 18th meant that he carded a disappointing 72 to fall five shots off the pace.
On the other hand, Drysdale is aiming for his first title in his 498th European Tour event while a win for Winther would come at his 97th attempt.
“We had good fun, good playing partners are always good to have and you can lean on your caddie as well. We just enjoyed it and played very well. I putted very well as well and that’s a big factor,” Winther said.
“It’s wide and I like it. I need a bit of help off the tee at the moment but otherwise than that I really like it. The greenkeepers have done very well this week, it’s phenomenal to putt on. I’ll keep doing the same. I’m going to try not to think about it and it’ll be exciting. I look forward to it.”
Pablo Larrazabal, the other Spaniard, also came up with a fine round yesterday. He carded an eight-under 63 with two eagles and six birdies, the lowest of the day to finish tied fifth with Swede Alexander Bjork at 11-under overall with three birdies and a bogey.
“The pin positions are super tough and very tricky. I felt that I played well with some good putts including a 15-metre one on the 13th. Another 18 holes to go… let’s see what happens,” the five-time champion on the European Tour said. The 37-year-old Spaniard ended his four-year wait for a European title in December 2019 when he won the Alfred Dunhill Championship.
Finn Kalle Samooja and England’s Jack Senior were at ten-under, a shot clear of two more Englishmen in Marcus Armitage and Andy Sullivan, India’s SSP Chawrasia, Belgian Thomas Detry and Scotland’s Scott Jamieson.
Leading round III scores
199 — Jorge Campillo (ESP) 66 66 67
200 — David Drysdale (SCO) 67 69 64, Jeff Winther (DEN) 66 69 65
201 — Benjamin Poke (DEN) 68 67 66
202 — Alexander Bjork (SWE) 70 63 69, Pablo Larrazabal (ESP) 72 67 63
203 — Kalle Samooja (FIN) 70 67 66, Jack Senior (ENG) 69 66 68
204 — Marcus Armitage (ENG) 67 71 66, Andy Sullivan (ENG) 66 66 72, S.S.P Chawrasia (IND) 67 69 68, Thomas Detry (BEL) 72 66 66, Scott Jamieson (SCO) 67 68 69
205 — Lorenzo Gagli (ITA) 66 70 69
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