Hutsby pinches himself at prospect of dream win
Sunday 25 October 2009
Sweden's Michael Jonzon, with one win in 290 starts and fighting for his future on the European Tour, holds the lead in the Castello Masters in Spain going into today's final round.
The former Portuguese Open champion is 158th on the money list and needs to finish first or second to be sure of keeping his Tour card.
But even after a six-under-par 65 swept him to 16 under, Jonzon is feeling enormous pressure because joint second, a single stroke behind, are defending champion Sergio Garcia on his home course and Martin Kaymer, who can return to the top of the Order of Merit by winning his first event since injuring his foot in a go-kart crash in August.
But it was England's Sam Hutsby, in only his third Tour event as a professional, who provided the story of the day. The 21-year-old, runner-up at the British Amateur in June and a Walker Cup debutant last month, kept pace with Jonzon but bogeyed the last for a 66 that sent him down to fourth place on 14 under.
The Swede is 482nd in the world, whereas Garcia is ranked 10th and Kaymer 12th. Hutsby, though, is down at 1,374th – the position given to all those who have zero ranking points.
In his previous starts he missed the cut at the Dunhill Links and Madrid Masters, but this week has been making the most of an invitation from tournament host Garcia.
"I'm enjoying every minute," he said. "It's not really sunk in that I'm playing on Tour. Hopefully I can sleep well tonight and then keep to my plan under pressure." If he was to win he would instantly earn a two-year exemption and avoid the nightmarish rigours of the qualifying school.
England's Simon Wakefield, another player in need of a good week, fired a 65 but at seven behind the leader has lots of work to do.
Garcia shot a bogey-free 67, while Kaymer came back from a double bogey at the second to record a 68.
Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie is finally showing some form, firing a day's best 64 to lie just outside the top 10. "I've gone back to a short putter and am putting much better," he said. "But this year has been a write-off. I need to get my game sorted out – my irons are not accurate enough."
Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, England's Greg Owen headed out last night for his third round in a share of the lead with American rookie Rickie Fowler at the Frys.com Open in Scottsdale, Arizona. The pair carded second-round 64s to sit on 11 under at the halfway stage.
Latest in Sport
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Best memes and Tweets, including Lukas Podolski selfie with Angela Merkel
Arturo Vidal to Manchester United: Midfielder admits he'd 'love to play for a big club'
Shakira performs at World Cup closing ceremony at the Maracana
World Cup 2014 final: Vladimir Putin takes seat next to Sepp Blatter at the Maracana
Alan Hansen retirement: How Twitter reacted to the pundit's final appearance on BBC
- 1 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 3 Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
- 4 Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country
- 5 Barack Obama fist bumps Texas restaurant employee in support of gay rights
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
Emergency data law: David Cameron plots to bring back snoopers’ charter
NUT strike: David Cameron announces crackdown on strike action ahead of mass industrial action