Bernd Wiesberger was able to follow up his stunning second-round 61 with another impressive 65 to turn a share of the lead into a two-shot advantage at the Scottish Open on Saturday.
The Austrian shattered the course record at the Renaissance Club on Friday after firing 11 birdies to earn a share of the lead, and managed to shed his fellow frontrunners by mixing seven birdies with a single bogey in Saturday’s third round.
Wiesberger lies on 20 under par – a 54-hole record for the Scottish Open – two strokes clear of South African Erik Van Rooyen, who kept himself in the hunt for a first European Tour victory with a four-under 67.
“I’ve got a lot of experience now,” said Van Rooyen, who has three runner-up finishes to his name in Europe, including two this season.
“There’s 18 holes to go, a lot of guys that can still play well. We’ve seen some low scores these three days, 61s, 62s, you name it. Bernd and I are both playing well but there’s a lot of guys who can still do it.
“Tomorrow I’ll go hit one shot at a time and make as many birdies as I can.”
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) July 13, 2019
Sharing third place a further two shots back are Frenchman Roman Langesque (65) and Italy’s Nino Bertasio (67).
A 64 from Matt Wallace sees him share fifth place on 15 under alongside Jamie Donaldson (65), Lorenzo Gagli (67), Adrian Otaegui (67) and Lee Slattery (70).
Meanwhile, none of the big guns were able to make a serious move on the day.
Rory McIlroy finished nine shots back after a 68, while at seven and eight strokes back respectively, Americans Matt Kuchar (67) and Justin Thomas (70) have probably left themselves with too much to do as well.
Andrew Coltart admits he’s concerned about the growing trend of long hitters carving up golf courses.
The tournament was the first European Tour event since the sporting shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The 23-year-old had started the final round three strokes behind his fellow American.
Poulter is six shots back heading into the final round.
The Englishman produced an excellent sand save on the last to see him finish the day at 10 under par.
The 44-year-old’s last appearance on the PGA Tour was in mid-February.
The biennial match between the United States and Europe will now take place in September 2021 at Whistling Straits.
Organisers hope to stage the event in September 2021.