Photo Victor Perez – Getty Images
The 54 hole cut has been made at the Alfred Dunhill Championship in Scotland with England’s Matthew Southgate and Frenchman Victor Perez tied at the top of the leaderboard at 20 under par.
Each player in the field has thus far played one round at each of the Old Course at St Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns and for those who survived the very low cut of 9 under par they will return to St Andrews for the final round on Sunday.
For both Perez and Southgate, tomorrow represents an opportunity for a breakthrough victory on the European Tour.
Both players missed the cut at their last European Tour starts so this performance represents a significant turnaround in fortunes although 13 players are within five shots heading into the final round and so they will need to keep pressing forward if that breakthrough victory is to eventuate.
The pair leads by two over England’s Paul Waring but lurking just another shot back is Sweden’s Joakim Lagergren and American Tony Finau.
Perez, who lives with his partner in nearby Dundee, will be vying for a first European Tour victory in his rookie season, having graduated from the European Challenge Tour last year. The 27-year-old carded an eight under 64 at Kingsbarns Golf Links which included a run of five successive birdies.
Southgate, meanwhile, is making his 140th appearance on Tour and the closest he has come was a share of second place at the 2017 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open. The 30-year-old signed for a seven under 65 at the Old Course after finishing with a birdie at the ninth, his 18th.
“My swing feels very solid,” said Soutgate. “I feel very happy in my own head at the minute and playing with such a clear mind and just easy swing thoughts. The biggest job tomorrow is going to be keeping me in check rather than the golf swing. I’m hitting the ball fantastic the first three days, so there’s no reason why I can’t shoot another good score.
“Someone is going to post a good number, so it’s going to take a good score to get the win. I’m so passionate about winning tournaments and being here at the Home of Golf, tomorrow is going to be a difficult one to just keep myself in check and keep producing what I have done the first three days.”
“It was awesome,” said Perez. “Bit windier today. Out of all the courses, we got a bit fortunate to play here today, being a bit wider off the tee. Maybe the guys at Carnoustie would have been the tougher course today.
But it was probably Finau who summed up the week to date the best.
“It’s very cool to be at the Home of Golf. “The Old Course, there’s nothing like it. So, to be able to tee it up tomorrow and play and have a chance to win a golf tournament here is going to be something special.”
It has not been a good week for the large Australasian contingent in the field with only New Zealander Ryan Fox, of the 16 who started the event, surviving to play the final round.
Fox though has slowly lost ground after what had been an excellent start to the event when he opened with a round of 64 on Thursday. A third round of 73 cost him a lot of ground and he now finds himself in 32nd place and nine shots from the lead.
Australians Jason Scrivener and Wade Ormsby frustratingly missed the chance to advance by just one shot and Min Woo Lee by two.
Scrivener did, however, make it into the final day Pro-Am field of 20 teams when he and partner Andrew White combined for a third round of 61 at St Andrews.
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) September 28, 2019