|Round Three Report
Scotsmen Grant Forrest and Calum Hill share the lead ahead of the final round of the Hero Open, with compatriot David Law trailing by just two strokes at Fairmont St Andrews.
Forrest set the clubhouse target of 18 under par after a stunning ten under par 62, which included 11 birdies despite tricky conditions on Scotland’s east coast. He was joined on that number by Calum Hill, who carded a five under par round of 67.
They will be joined in the final group by Spaniard Santiago Tarrio, who leads the Challenge Tour’s Road to Mallorca Rankings after two victories on the developmental Tour within the last nine weeks. Tarrio matched Hill’s round of 67 for a 17 under par total.
Law carded one of the few bogey free rounds of the day, a six under par 66 to share fourth with 36-hole leader Lucas Bjerregaard. Since his bogey on the 11th hole of his first round, Law hasn’t dropped a shot on the 43 holes since.
Forrest, Hill and Law are bidding to become the first Scottish winner on home soil since Paul Lawrie won the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles in 2012. Bjerregaard, meanwhile, has previously tasted success in St Andrews, winning the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in 2018.
Grant Forrest: “It was one of those days – bogey start as well and you’re thinking it’s not an ideal start. The first couple of days I played nicely but couldn’t get anything going and didn’t really make a putt. Today I changed my putting grip and I made pretty much everything. I think Lucas’s (Bjerregaard) putter from yesterday might have rubbed off on me a little bit.
“I just felt I wasn’t hitting putts solidly and I went back to left over right, which I’ve done in the past so it’s not something new. It feels natural. I hit loads of really good putts today. It’s tough making putts in that wind, you need a little bit of luck and I got that. I’m delighted.
“I’ve been playing better tee to green since Germany onwards. I had a good week at the Irish Open and then last week I didn’t really play poorly I just didn’t score and ended up missing the cut. I’ve been feeling confident in my game so I’m just trusting that and trusting the good scores will come along.”
Calum Hill: “I played really nice. It was difficult to make putts when it got windy, so I think that altered my score a bit because today I felt like it was my best ball-striking round. All around, I’m very happy.
“I’m very determined (to win). This is what you play for isn’t it? I’m looking forward to it with the home crowd and family watching, I’ll be giving it my best.”
Santiago Tarrio: “It was a difficult day with the strong wind on the final 12 or 13 holes. I didn’t play good, but I made some birdie chances and made some par saves. I’ll try to play the same golf tomorrow.
“I like playing in the wind. I like moving the ball with my irons and the driver, but with the putter too much wind is no good for me.
“I’ll try to play the same golf. I know my golf is improving if I’m spending a lot of weeks at the top of the leaderboard – either on the Challenge Tour or the European Tour.”
David Law: “I’m really pleased – especially with the back nine. The wind really picked up and there’s some tough holes coming in. I played good tee to green and holed some nice putts, so I’m looking forward to tomorrow.
“I’ve been playing in these conditions for a long time, you put the ball back in your stance, take a club, sometimes two, more and just hit it soft. That 17th hole is 190 yards but must have played 230 yards, it’s certainly difficult out there.
“It would mean a lot (to win at home). I’ve not been in this position, up there trying to win a golf tournament, for a couple of years. I’ve been playing good golf and I’m comfortable in these situations. I’m really looking forward to it, it’s why we practice and why we play. I’m excited.”
Lucas Bjerregaard: “It was a bit more of a battle than yesterday. I didn’t play my best today, especially off the tee and then when the conditions are like this you don’t get many looks at birdies. It got pretty windy on the back nine, I felt like I lost the grip on my putter a bit. Not great, but I’m still in the mix and it’s nice to be here again.”
Scores after Round Three:
198 G FORREST (SCO) 68 68 62, C HILL (SCO) 63 68 67,
Home European Tour Scots set for final day showdown in St Andrews