Defending champion Jonathan Caldwell will hope he can spark some kind of form in the final round of the Volvo Car Scandinavian Open after producing his worst round of the week at Halmstad Golf Club.
The Clandeboye man once again couldn’t put together a run of mistake-free holes, with his two early birdies cancelled out by two bogeys, and when it looked like he was on track for a third consecutive round of one-under thanks to a birdie at the eighth, a bogey at the 18th resulted in a level-par 72 instead.
It’s been a tough start to the season for Caldwell, who made only his fifth cut of the season in Sweden and hasn’t finished higher than 40th as he continues to battle back from a shoulder injury sustained over Christmas, but he has one more round to better that.
His title defence is most definitely over as, at two-under-par for the week and in a share of 59th, he is 14 shots back of leader Linn Grant, who is riding a wave of momentum and could claim the win at the mixed gender event in Tylösand.
The 22-year-old has already won four times across the Ladies European Tour and Sunshine Ladies Tour and after a bogey-free six-under 66 – which consisted of four birdies and an eagle – she will take a two-shot lead into the final round at 16-under-par.
“A very solid day again. I really found my swing yesterday on the range and this morning was a good warm up, a bit stressed, but that is pretty much a good thing to me. I got out there and hit good drives, I think I hit pretty much every fairway, on the greens and solid putting,” said Grant.
“I think I practised throughout all my years playing as an amateur being in the same situation of being nervous and knowing how to handle that and get the best out of myself.
“I think it is fun, I am her to do my golf and I hope that takes me all the way and if it does, then I’ll take it for the women.
“I hope that people realise that we’re actually getting there, getting close to the guys and having the same journey the men have had for the last thirty or forty years. To really just put women’s golf on the map a little bit more than it is at the moment, we can hit it far enough and close to the pin and hole some putts and do good scoring.”
Australia’s Jason Scrivener, the overnight leader, now becomes her closest challenger as five birdies, a bogey and a double-bogey in a two-under 70 moved him up to 14-under, while tournament host Henrik Stenson could yet win the event himself after a five-under 67 took him into third at 13-under.
The Swede is aiming to become the first European Ryder Cup captain to win a main tour event during his captaincy, and if he can replicate Saturday’s seven-birdie, two-bogey effort then he won’t be far away.