American Peter Uihlein set his sights on his second European Tour title of the season after moving to the top of the leaderboard at the Wales Open on Saturday.
Uihlein carded a third-round 67 at Celtic Manor to finish seven under par and claim a three-shot lead over French pair Thomas Levet and Gregory Bourdy heading into yesterday’s final round.
The former world No. 1 amateur won the Madeira Islands Open in May and has had three other top-10 finishes this season, while he also shared the halfway lead in the Irish Open before fading over its last two days.
“I feel like I have been in good positions a lot this year and had some opportunities. The more I do it, the more and more comfortable I will be,” Uihlein said.
“I was much better today, I was able to slow it down and be in my own element and not get ahead of myself. I learned a lot from playing with Jim Furyk in the first two rounds of the US PGA Championship. It was great to learn how he went about his business,” Uihlean said.
“Today the wind was tricky, but I was able to play solid and attack where I needed to. I was able to plot my way around. I am excited about tomorrow and looking forward to it,” he added.
Levet matched Uihlein’s 67 as he looks to improve on a dreadful season in which his best finish from 17 events is a share of 30th place.
Spain’s Rafael Cabrera Bello, Holland’s Joost Luiten and Sweden’s Peter Hedblom were four off the lead on three under par, with Hedblom’s 66 the lowest round of the day.
Hedblom played six events in 2011 before undergoing a shoulder operation and lost his card last year after finishing 143rd on the Race to Dubai.
“It’s been tough and maybe I came back too early,” Hedblom said. “You think you won’t mind missing a few cuts because you want to play, but it gets into your confidence and I never really had one good round to get some confidence back.”
Surprise halfway leader Liam Bond, who is ranked 1,528th in the world and only got into the tournament at the last minute, struggled to a 78 to fall nine shots off the pace.