Doha, Qatar: England’s Oliver Wilson took a one-stroke lead into the final round of the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters with an impressive three under par 69 but with Nick Cullen, Nacho Elvira, Mike Lorenzo-Vera and Erik Van Rooyen sharing second and Anton Karlsson, Thomas Detry and Australians Min Woo Lee and Jack McLeod all sitting just two off the lead, the European Tour event at the Doha Golf Club course is heading for a thrilling finish.
Last week’s Oman Open winner, Kurt Kitayama, is also in contention along with Bradley Dredge, Jorge Campillo, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Adri Arnaus, George Coetzee and Justin Harding, who all are on seven under par to share 10th place.
Wilson started with two birdies in his opening five holes only to drop his first shot of the week on the next. He then carded nine consecutive pars and picked up two more shots on his last four holes to take the outright lead on ten under par.
“I’m delighted, quite frankly, it was really hard out there,” said the 2008 Ryder Cup star, who is without a European Tour card after losing his privileges in 2016.
“It’s really hard to get the ball close to the pin, even from the fairways it’s a real task due to the wind. I’m pleased with what I’ve done so far; I’m just trying to keep in play off the tee and hit it to the middle of the green,” said the 38-year old who is looking to regain his European Tour playing privileges.
“There’s still a long way to go but I’m going in the right direction. I didn’t play very well today but hit some good shots when it was needed because I was patient. The last four holes I suddenly found something and played nicely all the way in. Maybe that’s down to maturity but I’m really pleased that I allowed that to happen. It’s nice to put myself back in contention.”
McLeod also enjoyed a special day as he fired a superb hole-in-one on the third, the second one at this year’s Qatar Masters after Deyen Lawson hit one on Friday.
McLeod’s six under par 66 also included four birdies and another eagle.
Meanwhile, Europe’s Ryder Cup captain and 2011 Qatar Masters champion Thomas Bjorn failed to impress again and his 72 on for a total of one under par was only good enough for a tied 58th spot.