Willett, Lynn lead, Schwab steals show
Englishman Danny Willett and David Lynn led the Austrian Open after round three, but a 15-year-old stole the show.
Danny Willett and David Lynn have moved into a share of the lead on 13 under par after round three of the Austrian Open.
But perhaps the player who stole the show at the Diamond Country Club in Atzenbrugg on Saturday was 15-year-old Matthias Schwab, who fired a second successive three-under 69 to move within five shots of the leaders.
Playing courtesy of a special invitation, the Austrian schoolboy posted five birdies against two bogeys to keep himself well entrenched in the chasing pack
“For me it’s cool to come here and compete with the best golfers in Europe,” said Schwab, Austra’s top amateur who more than underlined the fact by looking totally at ease competing in his first European Tour event.
Schwab also said he was unworried by the big galleries that have been following him.
“I was not nervous,” he added. “I’m focused now on the final round.”
It was Lynn, though, who shot the lowest round of the day – a 64 – while fellow Englishman Willett took just one shot more on the day, an effort matched only by Finn Mikko Ilonen.
US Open champion Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland was two shots back along with England’s Chris Gane and Swede Pelle Edberg, with a second Swede, Alexander Noren, a further shot behind alongside Clodomiro Carranza of Argentina.
But overnight leader John Parry could only manage a level-par round of 72 as he slipped back into a share of ninth on eight under.
Lynn was only two under for the front nine, despite four birdies, but an eagle at the 10th was followed by four successive bogeys from hole 12 to take him to the head of the field.
He said: “It’s the lowest round I’ve had for quite some time.
“It wasn’t really looking like it was going to be much after the front nine but going round the turn I just caught fire and was six under for the first six holes of the back nine. I just got into a bit of a zone and I’d love to find that zone tomorrow.
“It’s been a long time since I shot 64 in competitive golf – and I haven’t got too many 64s on my golfing resume. So it’s a nice thing to go into Sunday with.”
Willett, meanwhile, eagled the par-five seventh and added five birdies to more than offset the two blemishes on his card, at the ninth and 16th.
The 22-year-old is still searching for his first win on the European Tour and said: “I’ve been in contention a few times but I’m in a pretty good position now. I’ll be a bit nervous on the first tee tomorrow but we’ll just see what happens and just have fun.
“I’ve got a really important spell coming up towards the back end of the season – I’ve probably got six events left and pretty top-notch tournaments in the run-up to Dubai so hopefully I can keep plodding along and see if I can finish top 30 or top 15 in The Race to Dubai.”
Gane carded eight birdies, including five in a row from the ninth, in a six-under-par round to increase the English representation at the top of the leaderboard, with Northern Ireland’s McDowell making just one par between holes four and 14 as seven birdies and three bogeys led to a 68.
Edberg bounced back from a double-bogey six at the second to card seven birdies in his 68, while Carranza benefited from keeping his card bogey-free.
Parry was three over to the turn, with a double-bogey at the par-three fifth, but recovered with three birdies on the back nine.
Ilonen’s superb round, meanwhile, served only to bring him back to the field in a tie for 16th after making the cut right on the line at one over.
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