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.
The Open day four: History repeating for Louis Oosthuizen?
The South African won the Claret Jug on this day in 2010 and held a one-shot lead with one round to play this year.
The Open day three: Oosthuizen on verge of history as Spieth sprints off
Jordan Spieth ran to the practice putting green after a dreadful miss at the last left him three off the lead.
Louis Oosthuizen takes narrow Open lead into final day as Jordan Spieth falters
A third round of 69 took the South African to 12 under par and a shot ahead of playing partner Collin Morikawa.
Louis Oosthuizen maintains Open lead over closest challenger Jordan Spieth
Oosthuizen held a two-shot overnight lead thanks to a championship record halfway total of 129.
Rory McIlroy plays down club-throwing incident but admits to consistency issues
The former world number one had looked to be playing himself into contention in the third round at Royal St George’s before fading away.
Rory McIlroy frustrated after squandering ideal start to third round of The Open
McIlroy made the halfway cut with just a shot to spare after consecutive rounds of 70.
Rory McIlroy climbs up leaderboard on day three of Open
The former world number one covered the front nine in 31.
Bryson DeChambeau out early on day three of the Open
DeChambeau played his last five holes in two under par on Friday to make the halfway cut on the mark of one over.
On This Day in 2011: Darren Clarke becomes the oldest Open champion since 1967
The 42-year-old was the third Northern Irishman to win a major in the space of 13 months.
The Open day three: Louis Oosthuizen bids to follow up record-breaking start
Runner-up in the last two majors, Oosthuizen added a 65 to his opening 64 for a halfway total of 129.