Niall Kearney and Graeme McDowell will be eyeing big finishes in Holland but winning looks out of reach as Sweden’s Kris Broberg pulled clear with a record-equalling 23-under par three round total.
Royal Dublin pro Kearney is best of the Irish pair, closing out his third round with two birdies for a one-under 71 and an 11-under par tally, good enough to share 8th place overnight. McDowell is two strokes further back at nine-under par after carding five birdies in a two-under 70.
Sweden’s Broberg may not have become only the second golfer to break 60 on the European Tour but he did join a very elite club of now just three players to shoot 23-under par for three rounds at the 101st hosting of the Dutch Open on the Bernardus course in Cromvoirt.
Broberg, 35, was lying at 11-under par for his third round after holing a 22-footer for birdie at the par-3 17th and then headed to the par-5 last needing to hole his third shot for an eagle ‘3’ to join England’s Ollie Fisher as the only two players to break 60 in the now 49-year history of the European Tour.
The third-year anniversary of Fisher shooting 59 at the 2018 Portugal Masters is this Wednesday.
However, after Broberg parred the last, it came to light the 18th did not set-up well for this game and evident of just the one birdie over the three days.
“No, I wasn’t thinking 59 because I don’t like that tee shot and I’ve had a problem all year with my setup, I don’t feel a lot of confidence over the ball with the driver or the woods, so I just aimed left,” said Broberg.
Nevermind as the par handed him a new course record of an 11-under-par 61 along with an eight-shot leading advantage at 23-under par, and while the 2015 BMW Masters champion does not join Fisher in a still one-member only club, Broberg does join Ernie Els (2003 Johnnie Walker Classic in Perth, Australia) and England’s David Howell (2006 TCL Classic in China) in being 23-under through 54-holes of a Tour event.
Broberg burst from the opening tee to be six-under in as many holes thanks to a fourth hole eagle ‘3’ sandwiched between birdies at one, three, five and six that had many observers on an early ’59’ watch.
However, the current World No. 772 stalled with pars at seven and eight while he bogeyed nine and then parred the 10th. Broberg re-ignited interest in a 59 with birdies at 11 and 12, and then four in succession from the 14th.
“It was a great day. I played solid in the beginning, then I was struggling a little bit from seven to ten, but it was pretty good in the end and the putter is just smoking hot,” he said. “It is just rolling pure, and I see every single line, so golf is easy when it is like that.
“I have been struggling all year with my game and my putting, you know I was looking at the stats and I was working hard on the putting. I saw an optician in Sweden and put a contact lens in the right eye so that was key, and now I can see the lines but in the beginning I played some really good golf. Key shots into one, two, three and a really good shot on four.”
Broberg’s round lowered the course record by three shots after he and England’s Richard Mansell set the then new low of 64 on day two.
Who’s second you ask? Dane Marcus Helligklide, with a round of 68, is in second place on 15-under par.
- Full scoring HERE