Six golfers share the lead going into the final day of the Betfred British Masters hosted by Sir Nick Faldo, with three Englishmen bidding for victory on home soil at The Belfry.
James Morrison, Andy Sullivan and Oliver Wilson lead the home charge on seven under par and are joined on that number by Joost Luiten of the Netherlands, Italian Guido Migliozzi and Denmark’s Niklas Nørgaard.
Amateur John Gough, who is English-born but with Irish parents, understandably struggled having played his way to a tie for third-place after 36 holes. The reigning Irish Amateur champion slipped back to a tie for 40th after a four-over 76, but will take great heart from the week having arrived as the sole amateur in the field and making the cut.
Luiten and Migliozzi carded four under par rounds of 68 on the iconic Brabazon Course, with the other four sharing the lead all carding two under par 70s at the four-time Ryder Cup venue.
The tournament holds particular significance for Sullivan, who is from Nuneaton, less than half an hour away from this week’s host venue. The 2016 Ryder Cup player thrilled the home crowds with a 40-foot birdie putt on the last to move into a share of the lead.
Of the sextet at the top of the leaderboard, Nørgaard is the only one chasing a maiden DP World Tour victory, with Wilson also set to defend his Made in Himmerland title in Denmark next week. Luiten was runner-up at last week’s BMW International Open, while Migliozzi finished runner-up at this event in 2021, missing out after losing to Richard Bland in a play-off.
In sixth place on six under par is Max Kieffer, who recorded two top three finishes in his last three starts, both of those coming in his native Germany. He also carded a four under par 68 to climb up the standings.
England’s Matt Baldwin produced one of the highlights of the day as he made a hole-in-one on the iconic par three 14th hole, the same hole that tournament host Sir Nick Faldo made an ace during the 1993 Ryder Cup. Baldwin’s heroics secured a £50,000 donation from tournament title sponsor Betfred to the event’s Official Charity Partner, Prostate Cancer UK.
“I’m buzzing,” said former Ryder Cup star and local favourite Sullivan. “I’m absolutely buzzing. I can’t wait. I’m not going to lie, I’ll probably go have a little beer right now to calm down, because literally, the nerves on the last when the putt was going down, I was thinking, this could be three-putt. It’s amazing. It’s been so nice to see so many friendly faces out there. I’m going to enjoy it.”
“It would be one tournament that I would love to have on my resumé,” said fellow Englishman Oliver Wilson. “I need a good week and it’s been so much fun out there. To start with, going down the first few holes, the crowds were awesome. Got off to a great start. There’s really not a lot better when you’re playing well and you’re in that kind of atmosphere, it’s immense. To go one step further and play well tomorrow and maybe get over the line, it would be pretty amazing.”