Saturday, July 09, 2016

Can anyone catch Swede Noren over final round of AAM Scottish Open?


Sweden's Alex Noren will take a two-stroke lead into the final round of the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open after a dramatic day at Castle Stuart Golf Links on the Moray Firth coastline between Nairn and Inverness.
Conditions had been at their most helpful in the early stages with birdies and eagles the order of the day and at one point five players shared the lead as the leaderboard closed up.
Heavy rain arrived in the afternoon, however, and it was Stockholm's Noren (pictured) who came out on top at the end of the day with a 12-under-par tally of 204 after a 68 which put him two shots clear of England's Tyrrell Hatton and Italian Matteo Manassero.
Noren, who will have his 34th birthday on Monday, July 12, arrived in Scotland off the back of a top ten at the 100th Open de France while for Manassero, it is a remarkable return to form for a player without a top ten finish since this event two years ago.
Hatton, meanwhile, is going in search of a first win in his 79th European Tour event.

Danny Lee and Justin Walters are at nine-under 207, a shot clear of Andy Sullivan and Graeme McDowell.

Noren began the day with a one-shot lead but was soon caught by Hatton who had a birdie-eagle-birdie start.

A birdie on the second moved the Swede back into a share of the lead but when Manassero eagled the sixth after a brilliant second shot, he moved into the lead on his own and became the first player of the week to get to ten under.

A bogey followed on the next to move Noren back into a share of the lead but he also bogeyed the seventh before getting back to the summit with a gain on the ninth to turn in 35.

Another birdie on the tenth coupled with a Manessero bogey briefly gave Noren a two-shot lead but that did not last for long as Walters made a birdie on the last to add to gains on the first, fourth, sixth, 13th, 14th and 15th to set the clubhouse target at nine under.

Lee had gone quiet after birdieing the second but back-to-back gains on the 11th and 12th moved him ahead with Noren dropping a shot on the 12th.

Hatton made a gain on the 17th with Manassero adding one on the 14th and when Lee dropped a shot on the 13th, there was a five-way tie for the lead at nine under.

Noren edged ahead with a birdie on the 14th but Hatton made it a birdie-birdie finish to set the target at ten under and Manassero holed a bump and run on the 15th before another birdie on the next had the 23 year old in the driving seat.

But he then bogeyed the penultimate hole and with Noren making a birdie on the par three and closing with a sixth gain of the day, it was the four-time winner who was ahead again.

Sullivan had two eagles, two birdies and two bogeys in his 68 while 2008 champion McDowell came home in 32 in his 69.
Romain Wattel was then at seven under after matching Walters' low round of the week with a 65, a shot clear of Richard Bland, Jorge Campillo, Nicolas Colsaerts, Ricardo Gouveia, Martin Kaymer, Chris Paisley and Richie Ramsay.



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