Saturday, August 03, 2019

FINNISH CHALLENGE TOUR EVENT

Karlberg birdies last two holes to 

take one-shot lead into final round

       Richard  Karlberg (left) and caddie during today's round. Picture by Tomi Natn

Rikard Karlberg will take a one-shot lead into Sunday's final round of the Vierumäki Finnish Challenge just months after returning to the game following a serious illness.

The Swede, who returned to the European Challenge Tour at the start of this season after a year and a half hiatus from the game due to a serious infection, began the third round with a narrow advantage over a six-strong chasing pack, but remained in control from the start at Vierumäki Resort, recording four birdies and six pars in his opening 10 holes.

Despite dropping two shots on the 15th and 16th, the European Tour winner bounced back with birdies at his closing two holes to ensure he will go into the final round with a one-shot lead over South African Bryce Easton.

After five missed cuts in his first six starts following his return, Karlberg showed glimpses of the form that has seen him become a regular competitor on the European Tour over the past decade with a tied for fourth result in the Euram Bank Open in Austria two weeks ago.

‘’The last few tournaments I’ve played on the main tour I started to feel like I had the game to compete again, but the edge was just missing,’’ he said.

‘’After not playing for over a year it’s taken a little while to find my game again but the result in Austria proved to me that I could challenge. I feel that I am now in a position where I can go out there and play my best golf.

‘’With the leaderboard so closely packed I’m going to need to go low out there again tomorrow, so I’m just trying to be as relaxed as I was today and see what happens.’’

Easton matched his opening day’s score, a six under par round of 66, to jump back up the leaderboard on moving day and remain in contention for his first Challenge Tour title.

The leading pair are likely to be followed by a considerable contingent of home fans on the final day, with Roope Kakko set to tee off in the final group following a spectacular round of 66 which saw him rise up the leaderboard into a tie for third place, alongside Englishman Mark Young.

Just two shots behind Karlberg, the local hopeful will be looking to emulate the feat of Kim Koivu who became the first Finnish player to capture the title in 2018.


Scores after round 3:
par 216 (3x72)
203 R Karlberg (Swe) 66 69 68
204 B Easton (SAf) 66 72 66 
205 M Young (Eng) 71 65 69, R Kakko (Finland) 71 68 66 
206 J Senior (Eng) 69 68 69, R Santos (Portugal) 71 67 68, C Hill (Sco) 69 71 66 
207 C Braeunig (Ger) 70 70 67, M Baldwin (Eng) 68 71 68, J Stalter (Fra) 69 67 71
208 C Berardo (Fra) 67 69 72, R Bland (Eng) 69 70 69, J Lima (Portugal) 68 70 70, F Maccario (Ita) 69 71 68, R Dawson (Irl) 70 72 66, R Højgaard (Denmark) 70 70 68 
209 R Sciot-Siegrist (Fra) 68 69 72, J Glennemo (Swe) 71 69 69, O Lindell (Finland) 70 69 70, D Van Driel (Netherlands) 63 73 73, D Huizing (Netherlands) 70 69 70, G Moynihan (Irl) 68 70 71, D Foos (Ger) 67 72 70, A Rozner (Fra) 68 71 70 
210 S Matus (Czech) 71 69 70, R De Sousa (Switz) 70 71 69, J Abbott (Eng) 68 70 72, O Lengden (Swe) 68 68 74, M Iten (Switz) 70 69 71, C Sharvin (Nir) 70 69 71, J Lando Casanova (Fra) 69 69 72
211 P Angles (Spn) 70 71 70, M Schmitt (Ger) 74 66 71, A Hidalgo (Spn) 73 68 70, L Scalise (Ita) 72 69 70, M Jordan (Eng) 70 68 73, C Blomstrand (Swe) 67 72 72
212 G Porteous (Eng) 70 71 71, J Girrbach (Switz) 68 70 74, M Salminen (Finlanf) 68 74 70, H Joannes (Belgium) 69 71 72, L Jensen (Denmark) 71 69 72, N Tinning (Denmark) 68 69 75, S Tiley (Eng) 69 72 71, G Havret (Fra) 70 68 74 
213 M Haastrup (Den) 68 68 77, S Benson (Eng) 73 68 72, R Roussel (Fra) 72 65 76, M Galiano Aguilar (Esp) 70 71 72,
214 E Dubois (Fra) 67 71 76, F Laporta (Ita) 74 68 72, P Maddy (Eng) 70 70 74, B Rusch (Switz) 71 71 72
215 E Johansen (Norway) 67 74 74, A Garcia-Heredia (Spn) 73 68 74, L Nemecz (Austria) 68 74 73, K Sneck (Finland) 74 68 73
216 M Simonsen (Denmark) 69 73 74, A Cockerill (Canada) 70 71 75
217 T Murray (Eng) 73 69 75, E Ferguson (Sco) 71 69 77, N McCarthy (Eng) 70 71 76
220 J Granberg (Finland) 72 70 78, A Eckhardt (Finland) 74 68 78 
222 D Stewart (Sco) 73 68 81

223 G Petrozzi (Eng) 68 73 82

SCOTS WHO MISSED THE CUT

143 S Henry 75 68 
147  B Neil 75 72 
149 C Ross  75 74 
EUROPEAN TOUR COMMUNICATIONS

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