KLM Open: Sergio Garcia and Callum Shinkwin share 54-hole lead
By Keith Jackson
Last Updated: 14/09/19 8:37pm
Sergio Garcia and Callum Shinkwin go into the final day of the KLM Open tied for the lead as Matt Wallace surged into contention on day three in Amsterdam.
Garcia and Shinkwin both fired six-under 66s to hit the front on 15 under, earning them a two-shot lead over Nicolai Hojgaard, while Wallace's superb 10-birdie 63 lifted him into the mix and leaves him four off the pace after 54 holes.
But it was a desperately disappointing day for overnight leader Scott Jamieson, who tumbled down the leaderboard after an arduous 76 which left him eight shots behind the top two.
Shinkwin had the better of playing-partner Garcia at the turn as the young Englishman's four birdies in an outward 32 beat the Spaniard by one, but Shinkwin then bogeyed the 11th after Garcia holed his fourth birdie putt of the round.
The 26-year-old, who arrived in the Netherlands ranked 126th in the Race to Dubai and needing a strong finish to the season to retain his card, responded with three birdies in four holes from the 14th, although he was unable to add another at the par-five last.
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But Garcia closed out his bogey-free 66 with back-to-back birdies and declared himself delighted with his all-round game, particularly his form on the greens.
"I'm really pleased," said the former Masters champion. "It helps when you are swinging nicely, but it's not easy. It is never easy. Sometimes we make it look like that but it was tricky, there were a couple of holes where the wind screwed me a little bit and hit two good shots at nine and 10 and didn't get anything out of it.
"Obviously if you are striking the ball well and hit a lot of greens and you are rolling the ball nicely, even if you don't make them you still feel good because you are hitting good putts. I hit many of those today, like on 13 and a couple others like 15 for example which looked like they were going to go in and just missed.
"I putt a lot. Not only me but I think everyone knows how important putting is and when you are a good ball-striker, it always feels like you are missing more than the rest because you have a lot more birdie putts but they are from a further distance so it is easier to miss them. I realise that and stay patient and that's what I've been doing."
Shinkwin added: "I was matching Sergio shot for shot. As much as everyone says don't watch your playing partner, you have to watch your playing partner no matter who it is, and Sergio was hitting his straight and was hitting close. If I matched him, I was doing well.
"I have got to maintain my emotions inside. If I hit a poor shot, don't let it affect me and just walk on and play the next one. I beat myself too much, especially not making birdies early on. I have to just take it one shot at a time and hope it all kicks in."
Wallace had earlier made a huge move when he birdied five of the first six holes and, after another at the ninth, his momentum stalled with a bogey at the 10th before he got back on track with three birdies in four holes from the 12th.
The Englishman closed with his 10th gain of the round to set the clubhouse target, and he would end the day in a tie for fifth - 53 places higher than Friday evening - with fellow Englishmen Matthew Southgate (70) and Steven Brown (68) also on 11 under.
Another English challenger, James Morrison, is one stroke closer to the lead after he returned a 69 which was blighted by two bogey-sixes on his card.