Edfors clings to lead in Qatar
BY Bruce Young | European PGA Tour | 2008 Qatar Masters | Round Three | 27 Jan 2008
Johan Edfors continues to lead the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters, his third round of 69 keeping him one shot ahead of a host of contenders. However, it is the 1998 winner Andrew Coltart, who has become his closest pursuer.
“I was a little nervous out there but that is good as I like that,” Edfors told European Tour radio after his round.
Edfors’ new found attitude of staying less intense during tournament week is continuing to work.
“I have won one previously on the Challenge Tour when leading throughout the whole tournament so I have done it before,” he said referring to his long term lead in this week’s event.
Coltart won the inaugural staging of the event back in 1998 just a week or two after leading the Australasian Tour Order of Merit but in recent times things have not been good for the Scot.
His last top ten placing on the European Tour was a 7th at the French Open nearly 20 months ago and his game had reached a point in 2007 where he no longer had status on the European Tour. Gaining a start in this event as a previous winner, Coltart is taking full advantage and things are looking considerably better.
“I have been working very hard with Colin Brooks in Edinburgh and I am hitting the ball nice,” he said after his round of 65. “I am finally hitting shots that I am actually thinking about hitting, which has not been the case for a long while.”
Charl Schwartzel stayed in touch with a round of 69 to be at 10 under and two behind Edfors and shares that position with yet another previous winner, Henrik Stenson. Stenson is in good form at present and as a previous winner and runner up in recent years he may yet be Edfors biggest threat.
The highly talented Ross McGowan is on the next line of the scoreboard with Anton Haig and the leading Australian, Adam Scott, who served notice of a possible successful return to the scene of his 2002 win in Qatar when he added a third round of 65 to move within three.
16 players are within five of the lead with all having, at least, a mathematical chance of winning the event.
Scott Strange was the next best of the Australasians in 34th position, Richard Green and Peter O’Malley 54th and Michael Campbell 66th.