European Tour

Wang wings way into Qatar Masters lead

2017-01-28 17:11
Wang Jeung-Hun (Getty)

Doha - South Korea's Wang Jeung-Hun broke from the pack at the Qatar Masters on Saturday, shooting a faultless seven-under-par 65 to lead by three shots going into the final day.

The 21-year-old hit three birdies on the opening nine and followed that up with four more after the turn to card the lowest score of the third round.

He finished on fifteen-under-par, three ahead of his playing partner Jaco Van Zyl of South Africa and Spain's Nacho Elvira, both of who shot rounds of 68.

One shot further back is South Africa's Thomas Aiken, who scored 69.

All four had started the day on eight-under-par.

"My iron player is really good today and my putting was really good," said Wang, who already has two European Tour victories to his name.

"So I shoot seven-under and I'm so happy I don't make any bogeys today (Saturday)."

He added: "I don't want to think about winning, I just want to focus on my own game.

"My irons and putting (have been) really good this week. So, I think I have a good chance to win."

Cheered on by a sizeable South Korean contingent, Wang showed no nerves especially towards the end of his round, where he birdied 16 and 18, and narrowly missed another chance on the 15th.

It was testament to the quality of Wang's play that he was able to put clear daylight between himself and the rest of the field after Saturday started with nine players sharing the lead, unprecedented for a European Tour competition heading into day three.

There were 44 players within fours shots of the lead heading into Saturday, that has now been whittled down to four.

Van Zyl said he was "excited" about the final day and was sure he had a chance of victory.

"Obviously it's a good score but I really felt like I left quite a lot out there," he said.

"I hit it quite nicely today and just couldn't capitalise.

"I'll obviously try and get them back tomorrow (Sunday)."

Wang secured his first European Tour victory last year at the Hassan II Golf Trophy, where he beat Elvira in a play-off.

A similar scenario is not out of the question tomorrow (Sunday).

Elvira birdied the last two holes and would have been closer to the South Korean but for a disastrous double bogey at the par-four 15th, following a wayward drive.

"I'm three shots back. I'm happy with where I am," said Elvira.

"I think tomorrow is going to be a great day."

Beyond the top four is a group of five players on ten-under-par including England's Nathan Kimsey and Spain's Rafa Cabrera Bello, who both carded rounds of 66 to move up more than 20 places in the field.

France's Romain Langasque and Mike Lorenzo-Vera are a shot further back alongside Ireland's Paul Dunne.

Leading third round scores at the Qatar Masters at the Doha Golf Club on Saturday (GBR/IRL unless stated; par 72):

201 - Wang Jeunghun (KOR) 69 67 65

204 Jaco Van Zyl (RSA) 67 69 68, Nacho Elvira (ESP) 67 69 68

205 - Thomas Aiken (RSA) 68 68 69

206 - Andy Sullivan 68 68 70, Kiradech Aphibarnrat (THA) 66 70 70, Joakim Lagergren (SWE) 67 72 67, Nathan Kimsey 66 74 66, Rafael Cabrera-Bello (ESP) 70 70 66

207 - Mike Lorenzo-Vera (FRA) 69 69 69, Paul Dunne 67 70 70, Romain Langasque (FRA) 70 70 67

208 - Anthony Wall 68 69 71, Mikko Korhonen (FIN) 65 71 72, Jordan Smith 71 66 71, Oliver Fisher 70 70 68, Nino Bertasio (ITA) 71 69 68

209 - Chris Wood 69 70 70, Alex Noren (SWE) 68 70 71, Ernie Els (RSA) 68 70 71, Ryan Fox (NZL) 72 70 67, Bradley Dredge 64 72 73

210 - Lucas Bjerregaard (DEN) 69 68 73, Anton Karlsson (SWE) 68 73 69, David Lingmerth (SWE) 71 69 70, Martin Kaymer (GER) 70 72 68, Chris Paisley 74 67 69, Graeme Storm 68 70 72, Robert Karlsson (SWE) 70 70 70, Sam Walker 68 71 71, Chris Hanson 68 69 73, Alexander Knappe (GER) 67 72 71, Gregory Havret (FRA) 69 71 70

Read more on:    qatar masters  |  golf


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