KLM Open: Joost Luiten on course for fairytale win at KLM Open after third round 66
Last Updated: 15/09/13 10:06am
Joost Luiten: Defied rainy conditions to post a third round of 66
Holland's Joost Luiten rewarded home fans for braving some miserable conditions at Zandvoort on Saturday as he posted a third round of 66 to claim a one-shot lead at the the KLM Open.
Luiten mixed six birdies and two bogeys at Kennemer Golf Club to finish 10-under-par, one ahead of overnight leader Miguel Angel Jimenez who battled to a level-par 70.
Ireland's Damien McGrane returned a flawless 67 to move into a share of third place on eight-under alongside France's Julie Quesne, with three-time winner Simon Dyson and fellow Englishman Oliver Fisher a shot further back after matching 71s.
Luiten bogeyed the opening hole but chipped in twice for birdie - on the sixth and 16th - and also holed from 40ft across the 17th green for another birdie to delight the large galleries.
"It was tough, it was a day all about surviving, especially on the front nine when it was raining and very windy," said Luiten, who claimed his second European Tour title in the Lyoness Open in Austria in June.
"You knew it was going to be very tough, par was a pretty good score. If you said I would make par before we started I would probably have signed for it so four-under is even better and I am pretty happy."
The 27-year-old burst onto the scene by finishing second to Ross Fisher in this event at the same venue in 2007, but is coping well with the pressure of trying to win his national open.
"I am just trying to enjoy it, it's great to see all the people out there even when its raining and a day like this," he added on Sky Sports.
"You know everyone is behind you and you just try to play as good as you can and that's what I am trying to do."
Third round leaderboard
(GB & Ire unless stated)
-10 J Luiten (Ned)
-9 MA Jimenez (Spa)
-8 D McGrane
-8 J Quesne (Fra)
-7 S Dyson
-7 O Fisher
Click here for collated scores
Jimenez, already the oldest winner in European Tour history after his win in the Hong Kong Open aged 48 and 318 days last November, carded 16 pars, one birdie and one bogey in his round, but compatriot and fellow overnight leader Pablo Larrazabal slumped to a 77.
Larrazabal's round got off to a nightmare start with a triple-bogey seven on the first and, although he birdied the seventh after a bogey on the fifth, a back nine of 38 all but ended his chances of a third European Tour title.
McGrane, whose sole European Tour title to date in the 2008 China Open came in similar conditions, said: "It was really enjoyable, my short game was razor sharp which you need in tough conditions. I managed not to drop any shots all day which was a great achievement I am very content.
"I enjoyed it only because I was able to hang in there and picked up a couple of birdies close to the end which turned it into a very good day. When the conditions get tough it falls back on chipping and putting and today I was pretty good at it.
"Some of the holes are brutal, especially on the front nine, and when I weathered as far as number six I knew it would get a little easier. I've been showing reasonable form so I am looking forward to getting to this time tomorrow evening and see what it brings."