Golf: Woosnam moves into contention

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The Independent Online
IAN WOOSNAM moved into contention for the Dutch Open at Noordwijk yesterday when he defied the windy conditions and shot 69 for a six-under-par third round total of 210.

Joint third with Steen Tinning, of Denmark, Woosnam is poised two strokes behind Jose Coceres, of Argentina, and one behind the Irishman Ronan Rafferty, as he attempts his 22nd European victory and his first in just over a year.

Woosnam, the former US Masters champion, ruined a potentially brilliant round with a double-bogey six at the 16th, but he is confident that he can catch Coceres, the 29-year-old from Buenos Aires, who matched his 69 for a 208 total.

Tomorrow's pounds 108,000 first prize - the second biggest of the season - would boost Woosnam's standing in the Ryder Cup qualifying list and give him a better chance of inclusion in the team at The Belfry.

'It's very important to me and I'm proud to be involved,' he said. 'I am playing well enough to be in the side and I'm desperate for this prize because I need it to qualify automatically.'

Coceres yesterday overtook the half-way leader Ronan Rafferty, who described the gusty conditions as 'a matter of survival' as he shot 72 for 209.

Coceres finished second in the Italian Open earlier this year but after his 69, he believes his debut victory is not far away.

Rafferty, pursuing his first European success since the Portuguese Open last April, worked hard for his par 72. 'I'm very pleased about what I did in these conditions. It was hard to concentrate,' he said.

The high winds resulted in some high scores, notably the 74s which ruled out the German Bernhard Langer and America's Lee Janzen, who finished at level par and two under respectively.

DUTCH OPEN (Noordwijk) Leading third- round scores (GB or Irl unless stated): 208 J Coceres (Arg) 69 70 69. 209 R Rafferty 67 70 72. 210 I Woosnam 71 70 69; S Tinning (Den) 71 70 69. 212 J Parnevik (Swe) 71 71 70; D Smyth 71 71 70; C Montgomerie 68 73 71; D A Russell 65 75 72; A Sorensen (Den) 70 69 73. 213 E Darcy 70 74 69; M Jiminez (Sp) 68 74 71; S Torrance 72 69 72; C Mason 71 68 74. 214 P- U Johansson (Swe) 70 75 69; J van de Velde (Fr) 73 70 71; J Berendt (Arg) 68 73 73; L Janzen (US) 68 72 74. 215 P O'Malley (Aus) 74 72 69; M Mouland 73 72 70; A Forsbrand (Swe) 71 73 71; V Singh (Fiji) 72 70 73; M Roe 70 71 74; G Evans 69 71 75; R Drummond 69 70 76. 216 O Karlsson (Swe) 76 71 69; G Levenson (SA) 72 75 69; R Winchester 70 77 69; P Eales 68 74 74; B Langer (Ger) 68 74 74. 217 F Nobilo (NZ) 73 74 70; J-M Olazabal (Sp) 71 76 70; P McGinley 74 73 70; M Farry (Fr) 71 74 72; J Woof 70 74 73; T Johnstone (Zim) 75 69 73.

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