Victor Perez and Matt Wallace will head into the final day of the 2022 Dutch Open at the top of a congested leaderboard after a testing third round at Bernardus Golf.
In testing winds on the links-style layout, Perez signed for a 69 to set the target as he chases a second DP World Tour victory, only to see four-time winner Wallace birdie the last to complete a 70 and join him at ten under par.
In-form Kiwi Ryan Fox, Australian Scott Hend, Italy’s Guido Migliozzi and Swede Sebastian Soderberg were then at nine under, a shot clear of another Swede in Alexander Björk, Portugal’s Ricardo Gouveia and Pole Adrian Meronk.
The top 15 players were separated by just five shots, with 13 different nationalities represented within that top 15. As well as the trophy this week, the top three inside the top ten not already exempt will earn a spot in The 150th Open Championship this summer, with Perez, Wallace and Fox currently set for St Andrews.
Since winning his maiden DP World Tour title at the 2019 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, Frenchman Perez has finished second in three Rolex Series events and finished in the top-five at two World Golf Championships and he was understandably happy with his lot after round three.
“Very pleased,” said Perez. ” Obviously got off to a great start, chip in off the first, and then drove the third which is again a bit of a bonus, you just try to drive it up through that neck and kind of get a straight bounce, it can go either way, so happy to get it up there. Birdied four, so you are off early in tough conditions.
“I thought the wind was a little different, it was a little colder and it is always nice to start and have a bit of a cushion out of the gate and feel like you can let the day come to you a little bit more. A few unfortunate bounces along the way but that is everyone, I think out of 72 holes on a bouncy golf course like it is you can’t expect for all the things to go with you but very pleased going into tomorrow.
“I think a bit of everything. It is tough out there and the conditions are difficult. I mean, ten under through three rounds when I think last year 23 under or 22 under won, so it shows the edge the course can take when the wind picks up but very happy.”
Wallace, who claimed four wins in 16 months from May 2017, finishing in the top ten on DP World Tour Rankings in Partnership with Rolex in 2018 and 2019 also has had five runner-up finishes since winning the 2018 Made in Denmark and was happy to once again be right in the mix.
“That is what I kind of wanted to do. Start the day and try to get a bit closer to the leaders, and that is what I did, tried to not give away too many shots. Got off to a really nice start those first couple of holes, and if you can go through level par and pick up a couple, which I did,” he said.
“And just that second shot into the par five, the wind kind of switched on us and it changed the shot, so it set us back. Not holes wise or scoring, but just being able to push forward and carrying on with a bit of momentum but stayed patient and really happy with my performance today.”