• Wales Open, Round Three

Jaidee grabs slim advantage

ESPN staff
June 2, 2012
Thongchai Jaidee will take the lead into the final round © Getty Images


Thongchai Jaidee will take a slender one-shot advantage into the final round of the Wales Open at Celtic Manor on Sunday.

Jaidee fired a four-under par round of 67 on the tricky Newport layout to set a clubhouse target of seven-under par, a mark no other player would manage to match over the remainder of the third round.

Englishman Ross Fisher went into Saturday's play with the lead, but he struggled to get going after a front nine that saw him make three early bogeys - before recovering slightly to reach the turn on one-over for the day.

Fisher found it a similar struggle to make up any further shots on the back nine, but a birdie at the par-five 18th at least got him back to six-under for the tournament - a shot behind Jaidee.

Along with Fisher, the strongest contender to Jaidee on Sunday should be Dutchman Joost Luiten, who enjoyed a remarkable round of 64 to thrust himself firmly into contention.

Starting the day on one-over for the tournament, it looked like a weekend of struggling in the midfield for Luiten after he bogeyed the fifth to slip to one-over for his round. But that was simply the precursor to a remarkable run of scoring, as he notched six birdies and an eagle over the latter part of his round to shoot up the leaderboard.

Luiten's compatriot Tim Sluiter is a shot further back at five-under, while Carlos del Moral and Marcel Siem are a another stroke adrift at four-under.

With 25 players within seven shots of Jaidee's lead, a Sunday charge could come from just about anywhere. South African George Coetzee is reasonably placed at three-under - alongside Mark Foster and Richard McEvoy - while Thomas Bjorn is on two-under and Italian Matteo Manassero one-under.

Lee Slattery's challenge appears to be over, however. The Englishman was in the final pairing with Fisher on Saturday, but succumbed to a round of 76 as he slipped to one-over for the tournament and dropped outside the top 25.

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