German players hold steady but the English, South Africans and Spanish dominate leaderboard
Golfclub Eichenried, Munich, June 25 - After all the talk of the home course and audience advantage for the German players, it was the other Europeans and not Martin Kaymer and Marcel Siem who shot lights out to create a wild finish at the BMW International Open on Saturday.
Eighteen players shot under 70 on Saturday, and 15 players are separated by only 5 strokes heading into the final round on Sunday. Mark Foster leads the pack at -14 after a 66 on the day, but his round was not the most impressive.
Sergio Garcia came into Munich after a strong U.S. Open last weekend and after a steady first two rounds, shot a 64 to overtake the lead before the Englishman Foster later took him over.
Garcia predicted his lead would not last. "I don't expect to be leading, I expect to be two, three shots back," he admitted during his post round press conference. "The course is playing nicely, not much wind and the greens are nice - lots of birdie opportunities."
For Garcia, this current solid play is not about winning this tournament, but another goal. "That was an important round for me," said the Spaniard. "Something clicked today, and I felt great - very comfortable and relaxed. My goal is to finish in the top 3-4 and make it to the British Open (in two weeks)."
Foster took over but he also agreed with Garcia, staying at the top will be tough during the final round. "Behind me are many top golfers, and the scores will be low again," said the one-time European Tour winner. "A par will not be enough to win it."
And he was also correct. Robert Coles (ENG), Retief Goosen (RSA), Pablo Larrazábal (ESP), and George Coetzee (RSA) would all join Garcia at -12 and set up three exciting final pairings.
Tournament and crowd favorite Martin Kaymer day should be set aside as an example of what Foster predicts for the final round. Kaymer shot a par for the day, but lost ground to the others. The key for him was a deadly 4th hole.
The world's #3 shot a triple-bogey as his shot went into the water. "I played simply to aggressive," said Kaymer. "I battled back and I can only hope for the same thing to happen as in 2008 a 63 on the final day." That score helped him get into a playoff and eventually win this tournament.
Water also played a tremendous role in Henrik Stenson's game. The Swede came into the weekend tied for the lead and was playing steady, till his ball went into the water - twice - on the 11th hole. The quadruple bogey seemed to have sealed his fate for the title, but three birdies going into the clubhouse gave him some relief and possible momentum for Sunday.
"I will go out tomorrow and attack," promised Stenson. "Perhaps a few more putts will fall for me."
Marcel Siem played one stroke better than his countryman Kaymer, but like everyone else, fell further behind the pace. "I played some really aggressive golf, but I didn't take advantage of my chances on the greens," lamented Siem after a 4-bogey round. "Things didn't go my way today."
Sunday's final round starts early at 7:15. Kaymer will tee off at 10:10, Siem and Stenson at 11:45 and the top two, Garcia and Foster at 13:00.