Kjeldsen eyes first title as Lawrie is driven to despair

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Soren Kjeldsen will take a five-stroke lead into the final round of the Diageo Championship at Gleneagles today. The 28-year-old Dane is in sight of his first European Tour victory following a superb third-round 67 which took him to nine under par.

Kjeldsen, perhaps the least-known member of the Tour's millionaires club, was only one shot ahead at halfway, but the former World Cup player moved in on the £200,000 first prizeas the wind died down.

During an incident-filled second round there had been 13 sevens, three nines, a 10, an 11, a 12 and the 17 from Londoner Chris Gane at the 533-yard last that was the second-highest score in the history of the circuit. The worst that happened to anybody on the third day was the closing quadruple-bogey nine of Paul Lawrie. The 1999 Open champion had broken his putter coming off the 13th and used his driver thereafter, but he could not blame that as he had lost two balls before he reached the green.

Kjeldsen had a marvellous nine threes in his first 13 holes and, having gone to the turn in 31, was seven clear at one point. It was not the same plain sailing on the way home, though. He took six at the long 12th, and failed to get up and down from off the green at the 15th and 17th. But an eight-foot putt on the last widened the gap again.

There were four Danish winners on Tour last year - only Sweden had more - and Kjeldsen, 22nd on this season's Order of Merit, might never have a better chance to join Thomas Bjorn, Steen Tinning and Anders and Soren Hansen.

Scotland's Alastair Forsyth, joint first-round leader and a member at Gleneagles, moved into joint second place with Paul Broadhurst on four under with a 69. Broadhurst, who feared for his career when he had to attend the Tour qualifying school again last November, returned a 71.

The defending champion Adam Scott boasted a 66 to be fourth, while Colin Montgomerie has seven strokes to make up, as has Stephen Gallacher. Sandy Lyle and Sam Torrance, two more of the home contingent, are now down on two over. Lyle, trying for his first win since 1992, had a 74, while Torrance, seeking to become the oldest Tour winner, shot 73.

Kjeldsen described his front nine as "just unbelievable - everything was spot on." He added: "I've just got to mind my own business. If they shoot low I can't do anything about it."

Comments