Thailand’s Jaidee leads the way but has García, Poulter, Stenson, Casey, Reed and An hot on his heels
The stage has been set for a dramatic grand finale to the BMW Masters after a third round of exceptionally low scoring at Lake Malaren today.
Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee has opened up a narrow one-shot lead heading into tomorrow’s final round, but will find himself in a battle for supremacy among some of the world’s best players. The contest is so close – only three strokes separate Jaidee in first place and five Ryder Cup stars tied for sixth – that it is impossible to pick a winner.
In warm and benign conditions, the 46-year-old Jaidee spoilt an otherwise unblemished round with a bogey at the 18th, but was still smiling after finishing the day on 15 under par after round of 66. “If I play like this tomorrow I’ll have a good chance to win,” he said. “Six under was a good round.”
Lying just one stroke behind and lurking dangerously are Sergio García (ESP), who had a 67, BMW PGA Championship winner Byeong-Hun An (S KOREA), who had a 66, and Denmark’s Lucas Bjerregaard, the overnight leader, who had a relatively disappointing round of 70.
On 12 under par and also giving chase are Europe Ryder Cup players Henrik Stenson (SWE), Ian Poulter, Paul Casey and Ross Fisher (all ENG), as well as Patrick Reed, a member of the US team at Gleneagles last year, who had an outstanding 64.
The best score of the day was a 63 recorded by Thomas Pieters (BEL), who opened his round with four successive birdies, and Alexander Levy (FRA), who came so close to winning this title in 2014. Matching Reed’s 64 was Kristoffer Broberg, of Sweden, who picked up nine strokes in 10 holes from the 7th hole to move to 13 under par and in contention for his first win on tour.
Marcus Fraser hit the shot of the day, at the 18th, when his ball found the hole ‘on the fly’ from 210 metres with a five-wood. The Australian has had eight holes-in-one in his career but this felt even better. “As soon as I hit it, I knew it was just perfect,” he said.
Among the German contingent, Martin Kaymer finished seven strokes off the lead after a 70, while Maximilian Kieffer, the BMW Golfsport Ambassador, finished on five under par after a 71. Marcel Siem, the defending champion, had a 68, but is too far back to contend.
In light of events in Paris, a number of players wore black ribbons in their hats.