SCOTLAND’S Marc Warren produced one of the best rounds of his career to surge into contention for the inaugural Made in Denmark event yesterday.
Warren, who won the last of his two European Tour titles in 2007, defied winds gusting up to 30mph to card a superb 66 at Himmerland Golf Resort to set the clubhouse target on six under par.
Wales’ Bradley Dredge had started the day with a four-shot lead on eight under, but three bogeys and one birdie left the former World Cup winner tied with Warren ahead of today’s final round.
“Even driving here we could see the wind was a lot stronger than the first two days, so we knew it was going to be a battle today,” Warren, who carded eight birdies and three bogeys, said. “Obviously Bradley was well ahead of me and the rest of the field and I was hoping it was going to be tougher because if it was easier he could maybe have the chance to pull away.
“Overall I am absolutely delighted. I think 66 today, I probably couldn’t have hoped for that before I started. I started off and felt a wee bit out of synch the first couple of holes, then hit a really nice second shot into the third and from then on just played really solid golf. A lot of imagination was needed today and I enjoy that style of golf.”
Warren flew to Denmark after finishing joint 15th in the US PGA Championship at Valhalla last week and admitted the jet-lag was having an effect.
“I was wide awake at half-three last night,” the 33-year-old added. “It’s a whirlwind and you lose track of what’s going on, catching three flights to get here. I’ve got the wife and son with me as well so whirlwind would be a good word to describe it.”
A bogey on the 15th and birdie on the 17th meant Dredge was still alongside Warren on six under when he reached the 18th, but play then had to be halted to deal with a medical emergency.
Sky Sports reported that a buggy driver had suffered a suspected heart attack and the final group had to wait to play their second shots until treatment could take place.
All three players were able to par the last, leaving Dredge tied for the lead with Warren on six under, three ahead of Simon Wakefield and Gareth Maybin.
At least Warren was able to play yesterday, which was more than could be said for the unfortunate Michael Hoey, who had been forced to withdraw after what he described as “a nightmare 24 hours”.
The Northern Irishman thought he had missed the halfway cut after consecutive rounds of 73 left him four over par. The 35-year-old therefore set off for home only to discover in Amsterdam airport that a bogey on his final hole from James Heath – who was in the last group out on Friday afternoon – had changed the cut from three over to four over. Hoey then tried to get back to the course only to discover that his golf clubs had been mislaid in transit and he could not get back in time for his 7:40am start on Saturday morning.
Scotland’s Martin Laird, below, was just one shot off the lead ahead of the third round at the Wyndham Championship at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, North Carolina last night.
American pair Heath Slocum and Scott Langley shared the lead after both players followed up their five-under 65s in the opening round with exactly the same score on Friday.
Slocum was just one-under for the day at the start of the 13th but a run of four successive birdies helped him finish with a flourish.
Russell would have claimed the outright lead, after six birdies, including three on the trot from the 14th, had he not made his only blemish on the 406-yard, par-four 17th.
Laird was among four players, alongside American trio Brian Stuard, Nick Watney and Andrew Svoboda, to sit in joint third after following up his 65 on Thursday with a 66 in the second round.
In an entertaining round, Laird made seven birdies and three bogeys.
Colombian Camilo Villegas, the overnight leader, was a shot further back alongside eight others after his 69, while Ryo Ishikawa was also on eight-under for the tournament after a sparkling 62 that was only one shot off the course record.
Elsewhere, American Brittany Lincicome surged to a three-stroke lead after the second round at the LPGA Championship following a four-under-par 68 at the Monroe Golf Club in Pittsford, New York.
Lincicome, a five-time LPGA Tour winner, was at nine-under 135, while compatriot Lexi Thompson (72) and South Korean Park Inbee (66) were equal second on six-under.
Thompson was the first round leader, while Park is defending champion.
Lincicome and Thompson are both long hitters, and the halfway leader is not surprised they are running first and equal second.
“There is no secret why Lexi and I are at the top of the leaderboard, both long hitters taking advantage of the par-fives,” Lincicome said. “The more I can hit driver, the better.”
Lincicome started poorly with a three-putt bogey at the first hole, but took advantage of her length to fight back and birdie two of the par-fives, and pick up an eagle at another.
That was enough to earn her a handy lead, a position she has not been accustomed too in recent years, having not won since 2011.
New Zealand teenager Lydia Ko shot 69 to stay in the hunt, four strokes behind as she seeks to become the youngest winner of a major.