The 18th hole at Golfclub München Eichenried remains the bane of the German golfers’ lives this week. In contrast, James Morrison, namesake of the legendary Doors frontman, enjoyed a perfect day in front of 13,000 spectators. The Englishman leads by two shots going into the final day of the BMW International Open.
Morrison, who won this year’s Open de España, carded his third low round in a row. The 30-year-old leads his compatriot Chris Paisley courtesy of rounds of 67, 66 and 67. The English duo’s closest rival is third-placed Thongchai Jaidee (Thailand, -13), who finished runner-up at last month’s BMW PGA Championship. Meanwhile, Peter Hanson (-12) also kept alive his hopes of adding a second BMW title to the one he won at the inaugural BMW Masters in 2012. The Swedish Ryder Cup player is currently fourth, four shots off the lead.
“I teed off particularly well today,” said Morrison. “If I can get to 20 under par I’ll have a good chance. That’s the main goal, and to just keep making birdies.”
The overnight leader will need nerves of steel tomorrow, as the chasing pack includes a number of top-class players. 2011 BMW International Open winner Pablo Larrazábal (Spain) is tied in fifth place on 11 under par. Ryder Cup hero Victor Dubuisson (France, -10) shot his second round of 67 in a row to move into eighth place. One shot back, Henrik Stenson (Sweden) and two-time major winner Retief Goosen (South Africa) can still set their sights on the coveted title.
The best-placed German in the field remains Marcel Schneider (-7, T26) who, like Martin Kaymer yesterday, came unstuck on the 18th. He slightly over-hit his chip for eagle and was left to watch on helplessly as his balled rolled in slow motion into the water hazard. The result was a bogey to round off his third round. Despite this, the 25-year-old was far from unhappy: “All in all I played well. I would never have thought I would be mixing it up with the guys at the front of the field after three rounds here. I am very proud to have so many people following me.”
Anton Kirstein (-6, T32) has also broken par on all three rounds so far. The number 1,603 in the world is enjoying a fantastic tournament and was the first player onto the course this morning – all alone. “I have to admit I found it a bit difficult at first to play quickly enough. On the sixth green the referee actually told me to put my foot down a bit. Apparently I was close to holding up the field,” said Kirstein after his 69 on Saturday. BMW Golfsport Ambassador Max Kieffer is also six under par after 54 holes. “My golf is there, and I have the confidence. I am really looking forward to the final round,” he said.
Marcel Siem’s round of 70 drew to a close about lunchtime with a final score of five under par. The highlight of a solid display was an eagle on the 16th, which took him to -7 at the time. Siem was also a “victim” of the 18th. A double-bogey on the closing par-five saw him drop back into a tie for 44th place. “That obviously hurts, and the bogeys on the relatively easy 6th and 13th holes were unnecessary,” said Siem. “Apart from that, today was actually pretty good. It showed I can actually play golf.”