Garrido, Foster share three-shot lead at Gleneagles
GLENEAGLES, Scotland – Spain’s Ignacio Garrido and England’s Mark Foster share a three-shot lead going into the final round of the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles.
Garrido, the overnight leader by a stroke, shot a 3-under 69, while Foster had a 68 and picked up all his shots on the par 5s to stand at 11-under 205. Each seeks his first tournament victory since 2003.
Two-time Ryder Cup star Thomas Bjorn was the biggest name among the group of players chasing Garrido on an overcast day. He shot a 71, joining Anthony Kang of the United States and three others at 8 under.
Sixteen players are within five shots of the lead on the uneven greens of the PGA Centenary course – which will host the 2014 Ryder Cup.
Foster took advantage on the long holes, with birdies on Nos. 2, 16 and 18 and an eagle at No. 9, where he chipped in from 15 feet.
“I made a conscious effort to hit the par fives in two,” Foster said. “I didn’t make a birdie outside the par fives.”
Garrido made five birdies despite struggling off the tee – the last coming at No. 16 where he smashed a driver from the fairway through fierce rain to the center of the green to set up an eagle chance that he narrowly missed.
Kang, the only American in the 67 players remaining, followed up a second-round 66 with a 69. The Korean-born player is in 170th position in the Race to Dubai standings and needs a high finish at Gleneagles to keep his card for next season.
Defending champion Edoardo Molinari of Italy is eight shots off the lead after a 69, and tournament chairman Colin Montgomerie slipped away after a 77, leaving him at 4 over.
Garrido – a member of the victorious European team at Valderrama in 1997 – also was unimpressed by the standard of the greens.
“I don’t think they are the best greens on tour,” he said. “I think they are harder than other greens, but I think if it hadn’t have rained as it has these last couple of days they would have been in good shape.”