Saturday, October 04, 2014



Oliver Wilson will bid to secure a belated maiden European Tour title when he takes a three-stroke lead into the final round of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on Sunday.
The 34 year old from Mansfield is a nine times runner-up – including at this pro-am event in 2009 – but shot a flawless round of 65 on the Old Course at St Andrews to ensure he is in prime position to finally break his duck on Sunday.
He will, however, face considerable pressure from the chasing back, highlighted by Rory McIlroy.
With hardly a breath of wind in the air the conditions were set fair for the World No. 1 to rip into the Old Course and he did not disappoint as he carded a 64 – after going out in 30 - to be level with Tommy Fleetwood and French duo Alexander Levy and Raphaël Jacquelin three shots off the pace on 12 under.
“I’m pretty happy with that,” said Wilson. “I played well today. Left a lot out there, as well, which is a bit frustrating but obviously I'm pleased with how I played, especially coming down the stretch, hit a lot of good shots.
“The way I've driven the ball the last couple of years, to stand up and hit some tee shots like I did on the back nine, I was very pleased - it was a good day.

“I expect Rory to shoot lights out every time he tees it up. The other names that are on the board don't really affect me. I'm just doing my thing, trying to shoot as good a score as I can, get it in play, one shot at a time, all the boring stuff, but it's true. I managed to do that really well.

“I got ahead of myself a couple times today but managed to just bring the head back in gear and focus on the shots.

“There's 18 holes, long holes, and it’s going to be a long day tomorrow, but it would mean a lot. I love this tournament and I’ve done well here before. I love coming to the Old Course, all the courses, but that walk up 18 is pretty cool.

“I'll be nervous. It's a big day for me. Last year I got off to a great start and kind of fizzled out in a similar kind of position really.”

McIlroy admitted some frustration at not going even lower, despite putting himself in prime position to make a charge on the final day.
His only dropped shot came at the 16th when he found the fairway bunker from the tee and took two shots to escape – ending hopes of beating his course best of 63.

“I got off to a really fast start and was trying to keep it going, and I sort of did through the turn,” he said.

“But the last four holes weren't really what I wanted. But any time you shoot a score like that around St Andrews, you have to be happy.”

McIlroy had added reason for cheer after he and his father confirmed their partnership this week would continue on into the final round.

Gerry McIlroy ensured that when he birdied the 18th and will now spend his 55th birthday tomorrow playing the Old Course with his son.

“Dad and I are going to get to play St Andrews on his birthday tomorrow which will be a huge treat for both of us,” McIlroy said.

Fleetwood went even better as he went around in 62, which was level with the Old Course record but not enough to earn him a share of the honour after the overnight and early-morning rain – which delayed play by an hour this morning – meant preferred lies were in play.
It was nonetheless Fleetwood’s best round on the European Tour and was matched by 2010 Open Championship winner Louis Oosthuizen, to leave the South African 10 under for the tournament.
Overnight leader Jacquelin kept in touch at the top with a 69 while Levy carded a 68.
It was a day for low scoring across all three courses with Dutchman Robert Jan-Derksen firing a nine under 63 at Carnoustie while at Kingsbarns Chris Wood’s 66 placed him on 11 under.
A tight packed leaderboard will, however, start the day in pursuit of Wilson who will have the added incentive of attempting to win back his Tour card, which he lost in 2012.
The former Ryder Cup players has since slipped to a world ranking of 792 as he has cut his teeth on the European Challenge Tour, but has been in control this week since beginning with a 64 at Carnoustie

Par 216 (3x72)
201 O Wilson (England) 64 72 65
204 T Fleetwood (England) 69 73 62, R McIlroy (N Ireland) 73 67 64, A Levy (France) 68 68 68, R Jacquelin (France) 65 70 69
205 C Wood (England) 70 69 66, R Palmer (USA) 69 68 68, R Ramsay (Scotland) 69 68 68

207 C Doak 70 67 70, S Gallacher 68 70 69 (T 12)
209 P Lawrie 69 72 68, J McLeary 67 72 70 (T23)
211 M Warren 73 70 68, C Lee 71 71 69 (T46)

MISSED THE CUT (212 and better qualified)
213  S Jamieson 70 72 71
214 C Montgomerie 72 71 71, P Whiteford 74 71 69
216 D Drysdale 71 72 73
218 S Lyle 71 77 70 







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