Noren takes charge at Ballantine's Championship

Sat 27 Apr 2013

Noren takes charge at Ballantine's Championship

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Icheon, Korea, April 27: Sweden’s Alexander Noren overcame testing conditions to take the third round lead with a deserving three-under-par 69 at the €2,205,000 (Approximately US$2.8 million) Ballantine’s Championship on Saturday.
Noren battled the gusty winds that swept through the Blackstone Golf Club all-day to post a three-day total of nine-under-par 207 for a one-shot lead over Spain’s Pablo Larrazabal and Scotland’s Peter Whiteford who were tied for second place after they returned with 68 and 69 respectively.
2010 Ballantine’s Championship winner Marcus Fraser of Australia signed for a 69 to take a share of fourth place with countryman Brett Rumford on 209 total while Thailand’s Arnond Vongvanij (75) and Kiradech Aphibarnrat (75), who held the second round lead, will have to make up grounds after they slipped to a share of 10th and 15th place respectively.
Noren, who trailed the second round leaders by one, made his move with a birdie on the fourth hole.
The Swede dropped a shot on the par-four ninth but quickly asserted himself by storming home with a flawless inward-nine that was highlighted by birdies on holes 12, 14 and 18.
“It was a nice way to finish as it was a long and tough day. I also held my short game together very nicely,” said Noren.
“I didn't have that many chances but I took care of them when I got chances for birdies and made the important pars when I needed.  So it was a big fight out there today,” added the Swede.
While conditions were tough on a day where only 17 players broke par, Larrazabal is taking it in his stride and believes he can rise to the occasion on the final day, where it matters most.
“I've been here for six years and I love tough conditions.  I love wind conditions, and I love tight pin positions.  You know, I love to have fun that way,” said the Spaniard
“The winds on this golf course were very tough.  We were up on a mountain and we had to play on both sides of the mountains.  The winds were swirling around and you’ve to trust yourself and go for it,” added Larrazabal.
Fraser moved back into contention for his second Ballantine’s Championship win following his victory in 2010.
Starting his round, three shots back of the leaders in tied-13th, Fraser got off the blocks quickly with two birdies in three holes.
He birdied holes six and seven before a bogey-five on the ninth hole saw him turn in 33.
The Australian, who finished second on the Asian Tour Order of Merit last season, grabbed the outright lead at the 15th hole after another birdie but let it slipped away after dropping another shot on the closing 18th hole.
“It was a nice way to finish but there was certainly more good than bad in how I played today,” said Fraser.
“Given the conditions today, I’m happy to be in the position where I’m right now. I managed to hole several long putts to save par today and that was key,” added the Australian.
The sixth edition of the Ballantine’s Championship is the first event to be played in Korea on the Asian Tour this season and is once again sanctioned by the Asian Tour, European Tour and Korea PGA.
Leading Scores after round 3 of the Ballantine's Championship 2013 being played at the par 72, 7281 Yards Blackstone Gc course (a- denotes amateur):
207 - Alexander NOREN (SWE) 71-67-69.
208 - Pablo LARRAZABAL (ESP) 70-70-68, Peter WHITEFORD (SCO) 70-69-69.
209 - Brett RUMFORD (AUS) 73-67-69, Marcus FRASER (AUS) 70-70-69.
210 - Romain WATTEL (FRA) 70-69-71, Jose Manuel LARA (ESP) 71-67-72.
211 - Louis OOSTHUIZEN (RSA) 69-71-71, Wade ORMSBY (AUS) 70-67-74.
212 - Eddie PEPPERELL (ENG) 72-69-71, PARK Sang-hyun (KOR) 74-69-69, Simon DYSON (ENG) 71-72-69, Tommy FLEETWOOD (ENG) 68-71-73, Kiradech APHIBARNRAT (THA) 71-66-75.
213 - Gregory HAVRET (FRA) 71-70-72, Jyoti RANDHAWA (IND) 72-69-72, K.T. KIM (KOR) 74-68-71, Damien MCGRANE (IRL) 71-72-70, WU Ashun (CHN) 75-65-73, Magnus CARLSSON (SWE) 71-69-73, Stephen GALLACHER (SCO) 70-68-75, James MORRISON (ENG) 72-66-75, Kieran PRATT (AUS) 67-77-69, Arnond VONGVANIJ (THA) 68-69-76.
Selected scores
214 - Scott HEND (AUS) 76-66-72, S.S.P. CHOWRASIA (IND) 71-70-73
215 - HU Mu (CHN) 72-69-74, Paul LAWRIE (SCO) 75-67-73
221 - Y.E. YANG (KOR) 70-72-79, Thaworn WIRATCHANT (THA) 74-70-77.
Ends.
About Ballantine’s
Ballantine’s is the No 2 ultra-premium Scotch whisky in Asia, No 1 Scotch whisky in Europe and the range sells over 70 million bottles a year worldwide. Ballantine’s has won more than 129 trophies and medals at international competitions in the past 10 years for quality, as a result of its unique richness of character and perfect balance. The range, from Ballantine’s Finest to the exclusive 40 Year Old, is the most extensive in the world of Scotch and is maintained by the latest in a tradition of Master Blenders that dates back to 1827.
•          Ballantine’s has been title sponsor of the Ballantine’s Championship since 2008
•          Ballantine’s is an official sponsor of the BMW Masters, The Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open & The World Cup of Golf
•          The first Ballantine’s sponsored golf tournament was played in 1960 at Wentworth Golf Club, England
About Chivas Brothers
Chivas Brothers is the Scotch whisky and premium gin business of Pernod Ricard – the world’s co-leader in wine and spirits. Chivas Brothers is the global leader in luxury Scotch whisky and premium gin. Its portfolio includes Chivas Regal, Ballantine’s, Beefeater Gin, The Glenlivet, Royal Salute, Aberlour, Plymouth gin, Longmorn, Scapa, 100 Pipers, Clan Campbell, Something Special and Passport Scotch.
About the Asian Tour
In 2013, the Asian Tour will celebrate a momentous milestone with its 10th season. 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 Abacus (Official Apparel Partner), BlackBerry (Official Communications Partner), Canon (Official Imaging Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Saxo Capital Markets (Official Statistics Partner), Singha Beer (Official Beer), Srixon (Official Ball), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Official Hotels and Resorts) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Also, visit us at www.asiantour.com, www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf, www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf, www.youtube.com/theasiantour and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf