Abery’s purple patch ties Grace
A purple patch of three birdies and an eagle has seen Warren Abery move into a share of the lead at the Nashua Masters.
A purple patch of three birdies and an eagle in five holes on the closing stretch saw Warren Abery fire a best-of-the-day 65 and move into a share of the third round lead at the Nashua Masters on Saturday.
The Wild Coast Sun Country Club is one of his favourite courses, and it showed as he reeled in overnight leader Branden Grace who had to grind it out with a one-under 69 to prevent his chasing rival from edging clear heading into Sunday’s final round of this Sunshine Tour event in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa.
“I’ve won here before,” pointed out an upbeat Abery, the 2006 Nashua champion.
I love playing the Nashua events and I feel like my game’s getting better every day, every hole, I feel like my swing’s getting better; I’m getting more confidence – everything’s looking good.”
Indeed he was looking better than ever as he made birdies on 12, 13 and 15, and better still when he eagled 16 for the cherry on top..
“That was one of the best six irons I’ve ever hit,” he said.
“My caddie Lucky and I just gelled beautifully on the back nine, and he told me I couldn’t go long with a six iron. I hit it perfectly and sank the putt for eagle,” he added.
Grace said: “I hit the ball better today than I did on the first two days, but putting has been a problem for me all year.
“But at least I went one-under, and I’m in the position I want to be with one round to go,” he said as he searches for his maiden professional victory.
Just a little more fortune could have had him a few shots clear going into the final round: ”
“I lipped out on 16 with my eagle putt and then I lipped out on 17 as well; and it happened to me on 15 too,”he said. “It was just one of those days.”
The pair led by two from Alan Michell, who battled his way around a gusty and drizzly Wild Coast layout to a one-over 71 – a round which included a double bogey, two bogeys and three birdies.
That was a solid round in the context of the conditions and highlighted the worth of Abery’s 65, comfortably the best round of the day.
Behind Michell, David Hewan will go into the final round on nine-under-par after his level-par 70 in round three, with Jake Roos a further shot back after he carded a solid two-under 68.
“I’m pleased with my round,” said Roos. “I just want to be in a position to challenge down the stretch tomorrow. I’m going to have a real go at it.”
He will have to go some, though, if he is to catch a dogged Abery and a determined Grace.
Tyrrell Hatton dominant as Rory McIlroy falters in Abu Dhabi
Hatton led by five shots at the end of a second weather-affected day.
Phil Mickelson on Tiger’s latest surgery: ‘I feel bad because golf should be a game of a lifetime’
Mickelson admitted he was saddened by the news of Woods’ latest back surgery.
Rory McIlroy makes brilliant start to fog-affected Abu Dhabi Championship
McIlroy has a remarkable record in Abu Dhabi with four second-place finishes.
Rory McIlroy shines in Abu Dhabi to take first-round lead following flawless 64
McIlroy has a remarkable record in Abu Dhabi with four second-place finishes, three thirds and a fifth in his last nine starts, but has never won.
Justin Thomas on end of Ralph Lauren deal: ‘They moved on so that’s what I’m doing as well’
Justin Thomas said he was upset by...
My last win feels a long time ago – Rory McIlroy aiming to start year on a high
McIlroy has not tasted victory since November 2019.
Rory McIlroy insists Justin Thomas will ‘try to be better’ after homophobic slur
World number three Thomas was heard using a derogatory word towards himself after missing a par putt in Hawaii.
Rory McIlroy backs Tiger Woods to make quick recovery from latest back surgery
McIlroy expects the American to be fit for the Masters in April.
Tiger Woods focusing on return to PGA Tour after undergoing fifth back operation
The 45-year-old will miss the Farmers Insurance Open and the Genesis Invitational.