Wonderful Wiesberger breaks away in Ballantine's

Bernd Wiesberger was within a round of claiming his maiden European Tour victory after running away with the lead at Ballantine's Championship on Saturday.

The 25-year-old Austrian fired a second successive seven-under 65 to take a stranglehold on the $2.9 million tournament at Blackstone Golf Club, Icheon, near Seoul, South Korea.

His three-round total of 202, 14-under-par, stretched his overnight lead to five shots over Australia's Marcus Fraser, who struggled to cling on to his playing partner's coat tails with a 69.

A shot further back were England's Oliver Fisher (67) and Chile's Felipe Aguilar who carded a four-under 68.

"I think that's what you call a great day at the office," said Wiesberger.

"It was fun out there. I enjoyed myself and made a lot of putts which was the key to another perfect day.

"I don't know if I've ever gone two bogey-free 65s in a row, so it was great."

Ireland's Paul McGinley set a scorching pace in the first group out on Saturday by rolling in birdies at five of his first six holes on his way to a seven-under 65, equalling the best round of the week.

But despite his efforts, which moved him up to fifth on the leaderboard by the end of the day, he was seven adrift of Wiesberger.

In calm, warm conditions perfect for scoring well under magnificently clear blue skies, Wiesberger started steadily, tapping in his first birdie on the fourth and notching another on the sixth to reach the turn in 34, two-under for his round and nine-under for the tournament.

But it was on the back nine that he got hot with the putter, rolling in a succession of birdie putts on all the even-numbered holes 10, 12, 14, 16 and 18 to move to 14-under-par -- six shots clear of the chasing pack.

Wiesberger said it was the birdie on the par-four 10th, which statistically has been the toughest hole all week and one of the three toughest on the European Tour this year playing at an average of 4.5 strokes, that really got him going to come home in just 31 shots on the back nine.

"It kind of jump-started the back nine. It was less windy than the first two rounds and it was a fairly accessible pin today and I had a fairly easy uphill putt, not too much break."

Wiesberger's previous best finish on tour came when he was runner-up to Hennie Otto in the SA Open Championship at Serengeti in November last year.

He has played steadily in 2012, but his only top 10 came in the Johannesburg Open in January, where he finished ninth, four shots behind Branden Grace.

Wiesberger said that his experience back on the second-string European Challenge Tour where he won twice during the last two seasons after losing his Tour card in 2009 should stand him in good stead for the final round on Sunday.

He will be wary though of a chasing pack featuring such European Tour luminaries as Miguel Angel Jimenez, Y.E. Yang, Ian Poulter and Paul Casey.

The Spanish veteran Jimenez, who was runner-up here last year, lies seven shots back after a 69 on Saturday.

Hero of the home fans Yang shot a superb six-under 66 and is on five-under for the tournament on the same mark as England's Poulter who carded a three-under 69.

Fellow Englishman Casey is a shot further away having again failed to find his touch on the greens despite some fine ball-striking in a two-under-par round of 70.

McGinley last tasted success on the European Tour in 2005 but his spectacular round earlier in the day seemed to have given him a chance to end that drought, before Wiesberger matched the Irishman's score and drew away.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • China ignores global outcry vs reclamation
    China ignores global outcry vs reclamation

    On Wednesday, G-7 foreign ministers issued a Declaration on Maritime Security expressing alarm over “unilateral actions, such as large scale land reclamation, which change the status quo and increase tensions” in the region. In their communiqué, which did not specifically mention China, the ministers expressed belief that reclamation activities were meant to “change the status quo” in the West Philippine Sea and South China Sea, through which 40 percent of global trade passes. …

  • Project NOAH exec receives recognition
    Project NOAH exec receives recognition

    Project NOAH executive director and University of the Philippines professor Mahar Lagmay recently received recognition from the European Geosciences Union (EGU) for his work in disaster risk reduction and mitigation in the Philippines. …

  • Nightclub ban for US troops
    Nightclub ban for US troops

    The US Pacific Command has banned its troops in the Philippines from bars and nightclubs, a spokesman said yesterday, with the trial under way of a US Marine accused of murdering a transgender Filipino he met in a bar. Thousands of American and Filipino soldiers will kick off tomorrow the 10-day annual military exercises, according to Capt. Alex Lim, a spokesman for the US forces, but there will be strict controls on their free time. Lim would not say why the restrictions were imposed but …

  • US-Phl war games to start under China’s shadow
    US-Phl war games to start under China’s shadow

    Thousands of American and Filipino soldiers will kick off tomorrow expanded wargames, showcasing a deepening  defense alliance as alarm bells ring over China. The 10-day exercises in the Philippines are an annual affair between the longtime allies, but this time they will involve double the number of soldiers as last year in a sign of their expanding military partnership. The Philippines is seeking more US military and diplomatic support to fend off China’s increasing forcefulness in its bid …

  • Palace defends legal tack in sea row
    Palace defends legal tack in sea row

    There is nothing weak about taking the legal and diplomatic approach to push for the country’s claims in the disputed West Philippine Sea, Malacañang maintained yesterday. On Friday, Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares led a rally in front of the Chinese consulate in Makati City to protest China’s massive reclamation activities in the Spratly island group to fortify its presence in the disputed waters. Colmenares also criticized the Philippine government for supposedly not doing enough to defend …

  • Veloso sons urge authorities to save mother from death
    Veloso sons urge authorities to save mother from death

    The sons of Mary Jane Veloso, who is facing execution in Indonesia for drug smuggling, yesterday appealed to government officials to do everything to spare their mother from death. “We love you,” Mark Daniel, 12, said when asked for a message for his mother following a press conference at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City. Mark Daniel, an incoming Grade 8 student, reiterated his appeal to those in power to help save his mother from death. His younger brother, …

  • US-Philippines wargames to start under China's shadow
    US-Philippines wargames to start under China's shadow

    Thousands of American and Filipino soldiers on Monday will kick off expanded wargames, showcasing a deepening defence alliance as alarm bells ring over China. The 10-day exercises in the Philippines are an annual affair between the longtime allies, but this time they will involve double the number of soldiers as last year in a sign of their expanding military partnership. The Philippines is seeking more US military and diplomatic support to fend off China's increasing forcefulness in its bid …

  • Bar ban for US troops in Philippines amid murder trial
    Bar ban for US troops in Philippines amid murder trial

    The US Pacific Command has banned its troops in the Philippines from bars and nightclubs, a spokesman said Saturday, with the trial under way of a US Marine accused of murdering a transgender Filipina he met in a bar. Thousands of American and Filipino soldiers will on Monday kick off 10-day annual military excercises, according to Captain Alex Lim, a spokesman for the US forces, but there will be strict controls on their free time. Lim would not say why the restrictions were imposed but …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options