Jamie Donaldson best of Ryder Cup trio as Joost Luiten leads
Jamie Donaldson was best placed of the trio of Ryder Cup players at the Wales Open, the local star carding a third round 68 on Saturday to be placed six shots behind Joost Luiten.
Newport, UK: Jamie Donaldson was best placed of the trio of Ryder Cup players at the Wales Open, the local star carding a third round 68 on Saturday to be placed six shots behind Joost Luiten.
Donaldson`s European Ryder Cup colleague Lee Westwood also shot a 68 after a birdie-eagle finish to leave him a further five shots down the field with Thomas Bjorn firing a level par 71 to be placed one shot further back.
Luiten`s third round 65 left the Dutchman two shots clear of Ireland`s Shane Lowry.
Luiten, overlooked for a Ryder Cup wildcard, made birdies at the first, third and fifth holes with playing partner Lowry also picking up shots at the second, third and sixth.
Luiten went on to birdie three of the closing four holes while Lowry had to make do with 12 straight pars.
The 28-year-old was fourth in the Italian Open, the last qualifying event for the Ryder Cup, and after being overlooked for a wild card two days later, finished fifth in the defence of his Dutch Open title on home soil last week.
"If you had these last couple of events counting for Ryder Cup qualification maybe I have a chance, but you know when the date ends and the qualification stops and you have to play well before that and I didn`t do that," Luiten said. "You have to be realistic.
"I`m just happy that I`m playing good again and just want to keep going again."
Lowry, who won the Irish Open as an amateur in 2009 and the Portugal Masters in 2012, said after his 68: "I got off to a flyer and just nothing really happened for me. I did make three good par saves, but I would have liked to make a couple more birdies and probably should have."
France`s Gregory Havret carded a 66 to lie three shots off the lead on 11 under alongside former champion Thongchai Jaidee, who shot 67.
Havret, who finished runner-up to Graeme McDowell in the 2010 US Open but has not won on the European Tour since 2008, said: "I played good. Unfortunately the last three holes were not as good as the first 15, but it was definitely a good round.
"Anything red (under par) in this beautiful course is always good, and that`s three in a row and hopefully another one tomorrow."