Mon, Jun 01, 2015 - Page 18 News List

Dane Kjeldsen in lead as Fowler quadruple-bogeys

Reuters, NEWCASTLE, Northern Ireland

Soren Kjeldsen of Denmark putts on the 16th hole on the third day of the Irish Open in Newcastle, Northern Ireland, on Saturday.

Photo: AFP

World No. 9 Rickie Fowler’s chances of claiming a second straight win disappeared when he finished with two eights in the Irish Open third round at Royal County Down on Saturday.

While the American was sliding down the leaderboard, Dane Soren Kjeldsen was taking a grip of the European Tour event, a four-under 67 giving him a two-stroke advantage over the field on seven-under 206.

Fowler holed a chip shot for an eagle two on 16 to move to two-under-par, but then sent his tee shot out of bounds before losing his third in gorse bushes as he slumped to a quadruple bogey.

He found more trouble at the last, again driving out of bounds en route to a triple bogey as he plunged to a 76 for 218.

Fowler, who won the Players Championship in Florida earlier this month, declined to comment after his round.

Kjeldsen also came unstuck over the closing two holes, ending with two bogeys to see a four-shot lead cut to two strokes.

“It surprised me somewhat that it seemed such easy going for the first 13 holes on what was another tough day, but the course got some back from me on 17 and 18.” he told reporters. “Eventually this course is going to get you so overall it was still an excellent day’s golf.”

German Maximilian Kieffer returned a 65 for 208 to share second place with Spain’s Rafa Cabrera-Bello (69).

British pair Richie Ramsay and Tyrrell Hatton were tied for fourth position with Bernd Wiesberger of Austria on 209.

BYRON NELSON

Australian Steven Bowditch shot a four-under-par 65 to open up a two-stroke lead after the third round of the AT&T Byron Nelson on Saturday, while Masters champion Jordan Spieth faded.

Local resident Spieth has finished second in all three Texas events on the PGA Tour this year, but his chances of going one better yesterday diminished as he fell six strokes off the pace.

The 21-year-old shot a 68 and said the goal of his final round would be to give his fans something to cheer about at the soggy TPC Four Seasons Resort in Irving.

Par was reduced to 69 at the course after the 14th hole was shortened from a par four to a three due to unplayable conditions on the water-logged fairway.

“Just unfortunate I didn’t have it [today],” Spieth told reporters. “Didn’t hit as many fairways today, led to less greens, and then I didn’t take advantage when I did have opportunities. I was just a little bit off but I held it together for one-under. We were playing so slow today. It was tough to focus, because we were waiting so long on every shot.”

Torrential rain that hammered the course for weeks and put the tournament behind schedule finally gave way to fine weather, allowing the field to complete the third round just before darkness.

Bowditch, who has adopted the Dallas-Fort Worth area as his home, said that accurate driving had set up his good score, because preferred lies were allowed in the fairway.

“The big key out here is hitting these fairways so you can get the ball in the hand,” he said after posting a 13-under 195 total. “It’s obviously wet out there. The greens are surprisingly good so you can make some putts. If you can get in the fairway, you can really attack any pin with these greens being so receptive.”

“I feel like I’m driving it pretty good. I had the putter going [the first round]. It’s gone a bit cold, but hopefully it can start up again tomorrow,” he added.

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