Fredrik makes Hed-way
Sweden’s Fredrik Andersson Hed will take a commanding six-shot lead into the final round of the Italian Open in Turin.
Sweden’s Fredrik Andersson Hed, seeking a first European Tour victory at the 245th attempt, will take a commanding six-shot lead into the final round of the Italian Open in Turin.
Andersson Hed began the day with a one-shot advantage and carded a stunning nine-under 63, the lowest score of the week, for a 17-under-par total of 199.
Playing partner Miguel Angel Jimenez had been level after 13 holes following five birdies in a row, but the veteran Spaniard bogeyed three of the next four to leave Andersson Hed well clear.
The 38-year-old from Halmstad regained his tour card after an incredible 14th trip to the qualifying school last November and has finished fourth in South Africa and seventh in India this season.
“It would mean a lot to get my first win, both for the rankings and for self-confidence,” said Andersson Hed, who carded one bogey and 10 birdies, including holing a bunker shot on the 17th.
“I have had a couple of chances this year already and hopefully it’s third time lucky. Today was fantastic, I don’t think I’ve ever that good in a round of golf before. I don’t think I holed more than one putt over 10ft all day.”
Jimenez, who turned down the chance to play in golf’s richest event, the £6.2million Players Championship, to compete in Italy: said: “I played well until a very poor second shot for bogey on 14 and then missed the fairway by two inches on the 16th to make another bogey.
“But Fredrik played very well all day and it will be tough to catch him.”
Jimenez, winner of the Dubai Desert Classic earlier this season, still carded a 68 to lie second on 11 under, with Belgium’s Nicolas Colsaerts, Scotland’s Peter Whiteford and English duo David Horsey and Chris Wood all a shot further back.
Wood, who finished fifth in the Open as an amateur in 2008 and third as a professional last year at Turnberry – just one shot outside the play-off – was one of four players to card a 65 and said: “I could have shot that score easily on the first two days as well.
“It was very frustrating, I gave myself so many chances and spent a good couple of hours on the putting green after yesterday’s round. Today I felt like I could have birdied every hole.”
Former Ryder Cup hero Phillip Price, now ranked a lowly 1,078th in the world, had earlier admitted he was stunned at how far he had fallen after climbing into a share of 10th place on seven under.
Price made the halfway cut right on the mark of level par, but carded a third-round 65, his best score for three years.
The Welshman memorably beat world number two Phil Mickelson in the singles at The Belfry in 2002, but has struggled badly recently and recorded just three top-10 finishes in the last five seasons on the European Tour.
The 43-year-old from Pontypridd finished 198th on the money list last year and only has a tour card courtesy of a place in the top 40 of the tour’s career money list.
Price, whose last tournament win came in the European Open in 2003, admitted: “I lost the appetite to do the work that you need to do. You think ‘Do I really want to make the sacrifices?’
“But I did not expect to pay such a high price for taking my foot off the accelerator.”
Teenage prodigy Matteo Manassero, the former amateur star making his professional debut on home soil, was inches away from a hole-in-one on the sixth but eventually had to settle for a round of 72.
That left the 17-year-old on four under par, 13 shots off the lead but still inside the top 30 and on course for a healthy first pay cheque.
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