Saturday, August 17, 2019

Pieters, out in 30, leads Czech

Masters into final day

Day Three Report
Thomas Pieters continued his love affair with the D+D Real
Czech Masters as the Belgian moved into a one-stroke lead
heading into the final day at Albatross Golf Resort, thanks to
a stunning front nine and a six under par 66.
The 27 year old claimed his maiden European Tour title at
this venue four years ago, before finishing runner-up on his
title defence in 2016, a performance which – along with his
Made in Denmark triumph a week later – helped earn a
Ryder Cup debut at Hazeltine.
Pieters, playing alongside halfway leader Edoardo Molinari,
opened with a birdie at the first and then followed up a bogey
at the third with four successive birdies. But his piéce de
resistance came at the par five ninth where he came close to
a first career albatross with a six-iron to within inches before
tapping in for eagle.
That superb front nine of 30 was followed by a more difficult

back nine but a birdie at the last and his best round of the

week moved him to the front on 16 under, with Adri Arnaus of

Spain in second and four players sharing third spot on 14

under – including Molinari and his fellow former Ryder Cup

winner Robert Karlsson.

Player quotes:
Thomas Pieters
“I think the key to that front nine was the driving. I hit it really far and straight so that was presenting a lot of birdie opportunities and a lot of short clubs into the holes. To convert the putt on nine after a wonderful six iron in was great, and it’s the closest I’ve come to a two on a par five.
“I got one of the worst lies I’ve had on any course – not just this course – on ten and had to take my medicine there but then I made a great four at the 11th and a great three at 13 but I struggled a bit on the back nine. I stayed patient though and got a nice birdie to finish.
“Like I said yesterday, I’m still learning all the time. I’m just trying to do the same things now. If I keep driving it well I’ll keep giving myself plenty of chances and then hopefully a couple of putts can drop.”
Adri Arnaus
“I felt pretty comfortable. It seems like this course suits me and I go out there and enjoy myself, and give myself some good chances and I was able to take advantage of some of them.
“I have good memories of Prague – I won the European Under-18 Championship in there in 2010 and then last year I came to Czech Republic twice on the Challenge Tour.”
Robert Karlsson
“It was nice today, I was very happy with the way I played. I made a couple of mistakes but I kept it going nicely.
“I’m just playing my game, that’s all I’m worried about at the moment. The other players can be 50 or 35, there’s not too much difference to me. I’m just trying to put my game together as well as I can.
“But it has actually freed me up a little bit this year knowing that there’s a possibility of some senior golf at the end of this year, so it’s been a slightly different approach. Obviously I’ve been struggling badly over the last couple of years.
“So I asked myself what I need to do to keep playing, so I changed my coach and I have done some things differently and allowing myself to be a bit more patient, even though it’s not easy when you’re not playing well.
“But I’ve been working hard this year and it’s fantastic to see some of it coming together. Over the summer I’ve done some good things but also some bad things too so it’s nice to see it come together.”
Edoardo Molinari
“I started well on the front nine like I have done on the other days, and then on the back nine I was a bit off with some of my yardages. I made a bogey at the 14th with one of my best shots of the day but it’s kind of difficult when you’re between clubs all day. Hopefully my bad day is behind me now and I can go low tomorrow.
“It was a tricky flag on three and I hit a decent shot but it just rolled down the bank. From there I hit what looked like a decent putt when it started but then it started to pick up pace, but hopefully it hit the hole and went in.
“I’d rather be leading, when you can afford a couple of mistakes. But then again when you’re out in front of the leaders and you get it going you might apply some extra pressure on then so it can work either way. I just need to play good golf and see what happens.”

par 216 (3x72)
200 T Pieters (Belgium) 67 67 66

201 A Arnaus (Spn) 71 65 65
202 R Karlsson (Swe) 67 68 67, H Leon (Chile) 66 69 67, R Karlberg (Swe) 69 67 66, E Molinari (Ita) 66 66 70
203 K Reitan (Norway) 66 71 66, E Van Rooyen (SAf) 65 72 66
204 M Schwab (Austria) 70 65 69, L Johnston (Sco) 67 69 68, M Korhonen (Finland) 70 67 67, J Singh Brar (Eng) 69 68 67, S Horsfield (Eng) 69 66 69
205 J Ritchie (SAf) 70 67 68, M Kawamura (Jpn) 72 68 65
206 D Gavins (Eng) 71 67 68
207 L Slattery (Eng) 65 71 71, J Kruyswijk (SAf) 69 67 71, A Pavan (Ita) 68 68 71, C Hanson (Eng) 69 70 68, K Samooja (Finland) 68 70 69, G Fernandez-Castaño (Spn) 70 70 67
208 K Koivu (Fin) 66 72 70, B Wiesberger (Aut) 67 70 71, R Wattel (Fra) 68 71 69, A Björk (Swe) 71 68 69, H Porteous (SAf) 69 70 69, J Scrivener (Australia) 67 71 70, J Hansen (Denmark) 66 70 72

209 J Morrison (Eng) 73 68 68, B Dredge (Wales) 70 71 68, B Evans (Eng) 72 69 68, R MacIntyre (Sco) 69 72 68, S Jamieson (Sco) 72 67 70, T Pulkkanen (Finland) 69 69 71, A Chesters (Eng) 70 68 71, M Southgate (Eng) 70 70 69, G Green (Malaysia) 64 75 70

210 B Henson (USA) 70 68 72, N Colsaerts (Belgium) 70 69 71, W Nienaber (SAf) 69 68 73, A Rai (Eng) 72 69 69, D Howell (Eng) 69 71 70, I Cantero Gutierrez (Spn) 71 67 72, P Dunne (Irl) 70 71 69, T Bjørn (Denmark) 70 71 69, O Fisher (Eng) 69 72 69, R Paratore (Ita) 71 68 71, A Levy (Fra) 70 70 70

211 Z Lombard (SAf) 68 70 73, D Papadatos (Australia) 71 69 71, J Catlin (USA) 70 69 72, L Robinson (Eng) 70 71 70, R Gouveia (Portugal) 70 71 70, S Kim (USA) 70 68 73, P Waring (Eng) 70 71 70, V Dubuisson (Fra) 70 67 74, D Burmester (SAf) 70 69 72, T Murray (Eng) 70 69 72

212 M Keyser (SAf) 71 70 71, E Kofstad (Norway) 74 67 71, R Ramsay (Sco) 70 71 71, C Lloyd (Eng) 70 70 72
213 D Fichardt (SAf) 67 74 72, J Walters (RSA) 72 69 72, S Manley (Wal) 71 70 72
214 B Easton (SAf) 68 73 73, P Harrington (Irl) 73 68 73, M Nixon (Eng) 70 67 77

220 J Winther (Den) 69 72 79

** S Lee (S Korea) 68 73 DQ,


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