Hedblom sets European record

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Sweden’s Peter Hedblom set a new record on Saturday, achieving the lowest 54-hole total of the European Tour season.

Sweden’s Peter Hedblom achieved the lowest 54-hole total of the European Tour season on Saturday and took a two-stroke lead into the final round of the KLM Open in the Netherlands.
Joint halfway leader with defending champion Darren Clarke, the 39-year-old without a single top 20 finish all year added a superb six under par 64 to his two opening 66s.
That was too hot for Clarke to handle and even though a 67 was no disaster the Ulsterman dropped to third place, one behind Dubliner Peter Lawrie.
Hedblom has won only two of more than 350 Tour events in his career and after missing his last three halfway cuts took himself off to a near-deserted island in his home country to forget about the game for a while.
It seems to have done the trick. Needing to climb 40 places from his current 155th position on the money list to keep his card he now has a first prize of nearly £260,000 and a two-year exemption in his sights.
By the time Clarke and Hedblom teed off they were part of an eight-way tie for the lead, but both birdied the first and then Hedblom sank a 15-footer for eagle from the fringe of the 570-yard second.
His only dropped shot came on the short 11th and he and Clarke were back level at that point, but he responded with three more birdies in the next five holes while Clarke had to be content with parring his way in.
Lawrie had thrown away the lead with a closing double bogey in his second round and was delighted to come back with a 65.
The mild-mannered Irishman was asked how angry he had been after that six and said: “For me, on a scale on one to 10 I was an eight – without showing it.”
There was no punching of walls or kicking cats – “those days are gone” – just a determination to fight his way back into contention for a second Tour victory.
He did that with three birdies in the first four and much finished much better, holing from 15 feet for par at the 170-yard 17th and making a nine-footer for birdie on the last.
Joint fourth on 10 under are England’s Sam Little and Kenneth Ferrie, Welshman Jamie Donaldson and Australian Terry Pilkadaris, who was in Melbourne on Tuesday morning when he learnt there was a place for him in the event.
Little, runner-up in the Czech Republic on his last start three weeks ago, equalled the day-old course record of 63 to move from 30th to fourth.
Hedblom paid credit to the coach who came up with a new practice putting routine for him.
“He wanted me to play tournaments against myself, so I have to hole eight putts in a row from three feet and then eight in a row from four feet.
“It took me an hour and 20 minutes at Loch Lomond, but Thursday was the first day I did all 16 in a row.
“If I can keep putting like this the rest of my life it will be nice.”
Clarke commented: “I just wasn’t quite at the races and Peter played wonderfully.”
ALL THE THIRD ROUND SCORES
(Gbr & Irl unless stated, par 70):

196 Peter Hedblom (Swe) 66 66 64
198 Peter Lawrie 65 68 65
199 Darren Clarke 65 67 67
200 Jamie Donaldson 66 68 66, Kenneth Ferrie 66 67 67, Terry Pilkadaris (Aus) 69 65 66, Sam Little 70 67 63
201 Marcus Higley 71 63 67, Alessandro Tadini (Ita) 68 67 66, Markus Brier (Aut) 67 69 65, Barry Lane 68 68 65
202 Damien McGrane 67 67 68, Alexander Noren (Swe) 72 66 64, Oskar Henningsson (Swe) 67 66 69, Simon Dyson 67 67 68, Bradley Dredge 66 67 69
203 Christian Cevaer (Fra) 70 66 67, Richie Ramsay 69 68 66, Paul Lawrie 66 68 69, Alejandro Canizares (Spa) 72 63 68, Fabrizio Zanotti (Par) 74 64 65, Marcus Fraser (Aus) 69 69 65
204 Carlos Del Moral (Spa) 67 67 70, Garry Houston 67 70 67, Gareth Maybin 67 68 69, David Lynn 68 68 68, Eirik Tage Johansen (Nor) 70 64 70, Niclas Fasth (Swe) 69 68 67, Ignacio Garrido (Spa) 66 69 69, Wade Ormsby (Aus) 66 67 71, Paul McGinley 64 70 70
205 Jean-Baptiste Gonnet (Fra) 71 67 67, Michael Lorenzo-Vera (Fra) 68 71 66, Shane Lowry 66 68 71, Sion Bebb 71 67 67, Richard Green (Aus) 69 67 69
206 Robert Jan Derksen (Ned) 70 66 70, Felipe Aguilar (Chi) 68 71 67, Andrew Coltart 68 69 69, Phillip Price 66 72 68, Klas Eriksson (Swe) 67 68 71
207 Chris Wood 71 68 68, David Horsey 73 66 68, Mark Brown (Nzl) 68 71 68, Simon Khan 68 71 68
208 Ricardo Gonzalez (Arg) 70 68 70, Mikael Lundberg (Swe) 70 69 69, Gary Orr 64 73 71, Shiv Kapur (Ind) 71 68 69, Benn Barham 71 68 69, Simon Wakefield 69 68 71, Ross McGowan 70 67 71
209 David Drysdale 72 65 72, Emanuele Canonica (Ita) 70 67 72, Guido Van Der Valk (Ned) 71 67 71, Miles Tunnicliff 70 69 70
210 Ulrich Van Den Berg (Rsa) 69 68 73, Callum Macaulay 66 73 71, Jorge Campillo (Spa) 65 71 74, Martin Erlandsson (Swe) 70 67 73, Mark Foster 69 68 73, Peter O’Malley (Aus) 69 70 71
211 Rafael Echenique (Arg) 69 69 73
212 Michael Jonzon (Swe) 69 69 74, Graeme Storm 71 67 74
214 Jeppe Huldahl (Den) 69 69 76
216 Phillip Archer 74 64 78
219 David Dixon 72 66 81

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