Crans Montana, September 10: Australian Scott Hend returned to complete his remaining fives holes on Sunday morning, signing for a third round one-over-par 71 to lead by three shots heading into the final 18 holes at the Omega European Masters.
Starting the day with a two-shot advantage after trading two birdies against four bogeys through 13 holes on Saturday, Hend fired an eagle on 14 before dropping a shot on 15 and closed with three straight pars for a 12-under-par 198 total at the Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club.
Fabrizio Zanotti of Paraguay, who claimed his first Asian Tour win at the Maybank Championship earlier in February, battled to a 70 to sit in second place while a host of six players, including Masrcus Fraser (66) of Australia and Matthew Fitzpatrick (70) of England, shared third on 202.
The penultimate round of the Omega European Masters was disrupted by a two and a half hours fog delay on Saturday. Hend, who had held the lead since the opening round, was among the 12 players to return at 8.00am on Sunday to complete their third rounds.
Hend will tee off at 11.55am for his final round alongside Zanotti and countryman Fraser. He will continue to seek redemption at the Swiss showpiece, where he came in runner-up last year after losing to Alex Noren of Sweden on the first play-off hole with a par against a birdie.
The €2.7 million (approximately US$3.25 million) event is the only tournament on European soil to be co-sanctioned by the Asian and European Tours.
Did you know?
- Fraser navigated his ways around the greens in just 26 putts.
- The 39-year-old Fraser is making his eighth appearance at the Omega European Masters this week. His best result was a tied-second place finish in 2012.
- Fraser finished second on the 2016 Asian Tour Order of Merit, thanks to one victory and three top-10 finishes.
- Hend has his wife Leanne on his bag this week.
- Hend, a nine-time Asian Tour winner, became the first Australian to win the Asian Tour Order of Merit in 2016.
- Hend battled into a play-off against Alex Noren last year but was defeated by the Swede with a birdie against a par on the first extra hole.
Scott Hend (Aus) –Third Round 71 (+1), Total 198 (-12)
It was all calm when we started but after we went back, it was just so cold out there. The greens got a little bit rough so I was just trying to be patient. Everyone was dropping shots. Some nice holes to finish with when we come back tomorrow so we will see how we will be positioned for the final round.
I had a good start with a birdie on first. I hit a nice shot out of the rough, landed short but it ran up to within 12 feet and I holed the putt from there. It was a nice start. Coming back after the suspension, I felt like I was ready to play but the breaks sort of interrupted my preparation a little bit but we hung in there.
It was nice to make another birdie on 13. It was a nice finish before they called off play for the day. It’s good to come back tomorrow on a positive note. I knew the weather will be like this today but I didn’t expect to be this cold. The cold really surprised me.
I will just come back here tomorrow and play like how I have played all week. Hopefully it’s good enough. We will see what happens.
Dean Burmester (Rsa) – Third Round 68 (-2), Total 202 (-8)
I am pleased with the way I played today. I putted well and that going my game going. It’s always tough to hit the ball well in this kind of conditions. It was cold and rainy. I played with Duncan today and we kind of keep each other going out there.
It was nice to finish with that long one on the last. I will wait and see what happens tomorrow morning but the 64 yesterday could have been a lot better if I putted the way I did today. I am pretty happy with the way it has gone so far.
I played well last week as well. Coming back from injury, I am ecstatic. The courses that we play back home on the Sunshine Tour are pretty similar to these and a lot of them are located on high altitude. It does play to our advantage this week because we kind of know how far the ball is going to go in this kind of conditions, or pretty much all kinds of conditions.
Luckily the grass up here is not severe like the ones we play back home on the coast. It’s a really nice course. Seve did a good work around the greens too. My wife and my son are here with me this week. I spent the two and a half hours delay with them so it didn’t feel like a long wait.
I was just spending time with them and trying to stay warm. It was nice because it got my mind off a bit. The first seven holes were pretty frustrating with seven straight pars. The birdie on nine got me going.
Marcus Fraser (Aus) – Third Round 66 (-4), Total 202 (-8)
It’s so beautiful out there. I got off to a low restart and then finished well with a birdie on the last. I carried out my momentum out there today so it was nice to make a few birdies today. It was tricky out there even though there was no wind. It was just cold and wet
We are so used to the ball going more than 10 per cent on this golf course and then all of a sudden, it’s back to normal and you have got your wet weather gear on. It’s quite a big change from what we are used to in the first two days.
You got to try and adapt really quickly and I felt like I did a good job at that today. You never know what will happen playing in this kind of conditions. I am just happy to recover some of my good form.
I haven’t really found any all year so it’s nice to finally make some putts and feel the ball on the club face again. Hopefully this week will build some good momentum heading into the rest of the year.
About Asian Tour
As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include ECCO (Official Footwear Sponsor), FENIX XCell (Official Apparel Supplier), Titleist (Official Web Partner), Bloomberg TV (Official International Media Partner), Bloomberg Businessweek Chinese (Official International Media Partner), Panasonic (Official Consumer Electronics) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). Sentosa, Singapore is the Home of the Asian Tour which also has an office in Kuala Lumpur.
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