Abraham Ancer pulls a further shot away from Young at the top of the leaderboard
Jeddah, February 4: Mexico’s Abraham Ancer holds the lead at the PIF Saudi International powered by Softbank Investment Advisers for the third consecutive day after following up a 63 and 66 with a flawless third round 64, progressing to 17-under-par and two shots clear of Cameron Young, third place sits a further five shots back.
Ancer, bidding to be the first player to win this tournament wire to wire, looked unfazeable at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club as he posted another bogey-free round with six birdies spread equally across the front and back nine.
“Another very solid round. Happy with no dropped shots. That’s always my goal. On a golf course like this where it’s blowing pretty good, I’m really, really happy.
“My ball striking has definitely been on, and I’ve been rolling it really nice all week. Extremely happy. Not really focused on what everybody else is doing. Just trying to play the same game I’ve been playing the past three days.”
Young has now posted three straight rounds of five-under-par 65’s, enough to take sole place of second, two shots back.
“I think I’ve played really solidly. Obviously, Abe’s playing some really nice golf. So, I think tomorrow will be fun. If the wind is similar to today, it will probably take a 62, 63 or 64 because I don’t see Abraham shooting anything bad.
Making his intentions clear, Young ended with “I’ll hit a lot of drivers and try to make a bunch of birdies.”
A fascinating two horse race is set for tomorrow between a pair who have completely contrasting styles, which was so clearly evident on the par-five 18th today. Ancer laid up to about 100 yards but nailed his approach to five feet and holed out, while Young airmailed the green with his second shot, using an iron, but was only able to make par.
Young is a further five shots ahead of third place, where American Matthew Wolff (63), Australian Lucas Herbert (67), and Thailand’s Sadom Kaewkanjana (68) all sit.
American Matthew Wolff made the most of moving day matching Ancer’s tournament low from round one of a 7-under-par 63, set up by a front nine six-under-par 29.
Following the round, the 23-year-old said, “It felt easy. It felt like I'm finally starting to hit my driver the way I'm looking to. It's such a weapon on this golf course when I'm hitting it where I want to. I'm having short clubs in and I can kind of attack these flags. I felt really good with every part of my game.
“But I think it was the putting. I made quite a few putts out there today and didn't the first couple of days. I think that was definitely the difference. It seemed like it all came together nicely for me today.”
On a truly international leaderboard, Jason Kokrak sits a further shot back alone in sixth, followed by Mito Pererira, Paul Casey, and Marc Leishman.
The final round of the 2023 PIF Saudi International, the Asian Tour’s flagship event, will get underway at 7.20am tomorrow. Fans can purchase tickets here watch the last of action and enjoy the family-friendly entertainment.
For more information about the PIF Saudi International powered by SoftBank Investment Advisers and future Golf Saudi events, visit www.golfsaudi.com.
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