Peter Fowler put himself firmly in the driving seat to clinch back-to-back European Senior Tour titles after opening up a commanding four-shot lead at the ISPS HANDA PGA Seniors Championship.
The 56-year-old Australian, who won in Jersey last weekend, is on course for a wire-to-wire victory after a third round four-under-par 67 at Close House took him to 11-under-par and well clear of his nearest rivals Philip Golding and Carl Mason, who carded 66 and 70 respectively.
Fowler dropped a shot at the second but bounced back with a trio of birdies and an eagle before the turn to open up a comfortable lead. He came home in level par, a brace of birdies at 14 and 15 cancelling out dropped shots at 10 and 13.
He wasn’t as fluid as his opening two rounds but Fowler was content with his third sub-70 round over the Lee Westwood Colt Course, while last week’s win has put him in good frame of mind ahead of the final round.
“Today was very good and it’s always good when you’re leading and can match up another good round, it’s a big help,” he said.
“I’ve just got to play a little bit more solid than I did today and hit more greens. I didn’t hit many on the back nine and need to consolidate that.
“I’ve played better this week than I did last week and I’ve proved to myself the last couple of weeks that you don’t have to play great to get the job done and that you’ve just got to hang in there.
“It would be ideal to get an early score (tomorrow) but it doesn’t always work out the way you plan it. An early birdie would be a big help. I’ve just got to play the whole game and be patient. If it all falls together then that’s great.”
Mason, a three time winner of the championship, had been hoping to make inroads himself but a nervous start made it hard to keep up with Fowler.
He was two-over for his round by the turn after dropped shots at the third and sixth, but three birdies on the back nine ensured he remained on the coattails of the leader.
“I made a very nervy putt for birdie at the first hole from three feet and it was the most awful stroke. It unsettled me a little bit.” said the 61-year-old.
“Then I played a few scrappy shots after that and was struggling a bit. I couldn’t putt and made some bad swings but I was pleased I held on and had a good back nine.
“I was watching Peter putt and I remember the days when I used to putt like that.
“As for tomorrow, I’ve just got to play and make a lot of birdies and hope Peter doesn’t go mad but he’s full of confidence and on form and will be tough to beat.”
The round of the day came from Austrian-based Gordon Manson, who returned a flawless six-under-par 65 – three birdies apiece on the front and back nines – to lie in fourth place.
“That round is right up there for me,” he said.
“Last year I had the best round of the last day in Woburn and finished second so I have shown that I can get out there and keep going, keep thinking forward and be positive.
“As my wife says, believe in yourself, relax and let it happen and that’s what happened today.
“I saw Peter was on 11-under and he’s playing great golf and I said my caddie it looks like we’re playing for second place.
“If I shoot another round like today even Peter Fowler might start to think about what he’s doing.”
Third Round leading scores
|1||202 (-11)||Peter Fowler (Aus)||68||67||67|
|2=||206 (-7)||Philip Golding (Eng)||72||68||66|
|4||207 (-6)||Gordon Manson||69||73||65|
|5||210 (-3)||Miguel Angel Martin (Spa)||69||74||67|
|6||211 (-2)||Philip Walton (Ire)||70||70||71|
|7||212 (-1)||Tim Thelen (USA)||70||73||69|
|8=||213 (lvl)||Andrew Oldcorn (Sco)||74||70||69|
|Andre Bossort (Swi)||70||72||7|
Full list of scores, entries and event information can be found at: http://pgagbi.bluegolf.com/bluegolf/pgagbi15/event/pgagbi15299/index.htm
for more information on the ISPS HANDA PGA Seniors Championship
For further information please contact Tournament press officer Lee McLaughlan on 07533 739260 or email [email protected]
ISSUE DATE: 13 June 2015
About The PGA
The PGA was formed in 1901 and is the world’s oldest professional golfers’ association. Based at Centenary House at The Belfry, the PGA has 7,500 members including 1,500 working overseas in 70 different countries. The PGA is one of golf’s leading bodies and committed to growing and developing the game nationally and internationally through its academies and the expertise of its professionals. The PGA, in conjunction with Samuel Ryder and The PGA of America, established the Ryder Cup Match and is the trustee of the Ryder Cup trophy.
About ISPS HANDA
ISPS is a ‘General Incorporated Association’ based in Tokyo. The organisation was founded by Japanese philanthropist, Dr Haruhisa Handa in 2006 to support charitable causes throughout the sporting world. ISPS has fostered partnerships with golf governing bodies worldwide to help develop the game at every level and promote blind and disabled golf. ISPS’s heritage in supporting blind and disabled golf and Dr Handa’s commercial and philanthropic investment in golf has formed the foundation of its wider mission for golf to become a Paralympic sport. For further information visit www.ispsgolf.com