Mixed bag for McKibbin as Korhonen leads with 18 to at KLM Open

Mark McGowan

Tom McKibbin (Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images)

Mark McGowan

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Tom McKibbin’s hopes of capturing his second DP World Tour victory appear to be over after a level-par round saw him stuck in neutral on moving day at the KLM Open in the Netherlands.

It was a big ask of the Holywood man who had jetlag and the emotional rollercoaster that was the U.S. Open – his maiden major championship – to overcome, but with two Open Championship exemptions up for grabs, it’s no surprise that he elected to remain in the field.

But knowing he had lots of ground to make up after rounds of -2 and -1 on Thursday and Friday respectively, his aggressive approach to the third round yielded five birdies, but also five bogeys as he ended the day as he started on -3, but two places higher on the leaderboard.

It will now take something in the low 60s to throw the cat amongst the pigeons in the final round, as Mikko Korhonen takes a one-shot, 54-hole lead and goes in search of a wire-to-wire victory at The International.

The Finn started his week with a brilliant 64 containing a hole-in-one and has been on top ever since, following a second-round 68 with a 70 to get to 11 under in Amsterdam.

Italian Guido Migliozzi carded the lowest round of the day with a 66 to become the nearest challenger, one clear of countryman Matteo Manassero, American Sean Crocker and Dane Rasmus Højgaard.

With more than just the trophy at stake this week, Korhonen and Migliozzi are currently on track to earn the two Open Championship spots.

Korhonen won his maiden DP World Tour title at the 2018 Shot Clock Masters and his second came just 11 months later as he tasted victory at the Volvo China Open.

A third this week would end a five-year drought and come remarkably in just his third event after a 12-month spell out of the game.

It was really, really fun today,” said the Finn. “I didn’t really know what to expect because I haven’t played for a while, and in the circumstances like this, so yeah it was fun.

“It was definitely tougher today than the last two days. Just try to enjoy it. Go step by step, shot by shot. It would mean quite a lot but let’s not go there just yet.”

English pair Joe Dean and Matt Wallace were at eight under alongside Swede Marcus Kinhult, one ahead of another Englishman in Matthew Baldwin, Scot Ewen Ferguson and Italian Edoardo Molinari.

South Africa’s Casey Jarvis made the third hole-in-one of the week and 17th of the season when he holed a five iron from 199 yards at the seventh.


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