Mon, Jun 09, 2014 - Page 19 News List

Luiten steps up title defense in Austria in bid for Ryder Cup

AFP, ATZENBRUGG, Austria

Eyeing the chance to become the first Dutchman to play in the Ryder Cup, Joost Luiten stepped up his Austrian Open title defense when he surged into the lead after the third round of this year’s competition on Saturday.

Luiten stormed to the top of the leaderboard thanks to a front-nine score of 31 that moved him to 10-under-par and gave him a two-shot lead over Austrian Bernd Wiesberger.

“I’m happy, 66 is good,” said the 28-year-old Luiten, who is just outside the automatic qualifying places for Paul McGinley’s Europe team, who are to launch their Ryder Cup defense at Gleneagles, Scotland, in September.

“It [the score] could have been a bit lower as I was playing really well, especially the first 12 holes, but it’s been a really good day. I’ve been playing consistently and hitting some good shots and making some good putts,” Luiten said.

“All I can do is focus on this tournament now and playing here, next [this] week is a new week. I am in a good position so I just want to finish it off tomorrow [yesterday] and see if we can win again here,” the Dutchman added. “I know Bernd is a good player so it will be a very good battle... It’s going to be an interesting day.”

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