Martin Kaymer is within touching distance of a first victory since winning the 2014 U.S. Open by eight shots, as the German enters the final round of the Austrian Golf Open in a share of the lead alongside Spain’s Alejandro Cañizares.
The former World Number One carded a third round 69 to move to nine under where he joined the leader from each of the opening two days, two-time European Tour winner Cañizares – who is also hoping to bridge a gap of seven years since his last title.
For two-time Major winner Kaymer, who won the Austrian Amateur Open in 2003, victory would mean a 12th European Tour title and an almighty push in the direction of the coveted top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking – it could move him as high as 63rd.
Cañizares signed for a two under 70 which included two double bogeys and six birdies to maintain his hopes of a wire-to-wire victory.
Maximilian Kieffer of Germany sat in second spot on his own after a four under 68 moved him to within one stroke of the lead on eight under par, while American John Catlin was a shot further back after a third round 71.
Martin Kaymer: “My tee shots were a little bit better today, especially on those two par threes – six and 14 – those are the ones I’ve struggled with. I did a little bit better today, it’s just a visual thing I guess.
“It was a bonus on 16 for sure, after a mental mistake at 15 – I don’t what happened there, maybe a little bit too quick – but generally I think I left a lot of shots out there today. I made a silly bogey on 11, a silly bogey on 15 and I missed a couple of good opportunities.
“I think today could have been a really low round, the conditions were very gettable so six under today I thought was a possibility – it’s only three under but it’s a decent result so far.
“Mentally I’m really excited about tomorrow, it really doesn’t matter what happens – if you win or not – it’s just nice to be in that position. Last year I had a couple of chances which I didn’t use. More often as you get into that position I think you get more comfortable and then it’s just a matter of time. After three days I think I’m happy to go out tomorrow and see what happens.
“It’s only April, there are so many tournaments to play, big events coming up, so I don’t think it will make a huge difference – whoever wins it tomorrow will not make the Ryder Cup team. It’s just nice for your confidence, for your belief that you can win again. For me it has been a while. We are obviously not there yet but it’s nice to be in that position and I look forward to it.”
Alejandro Cañizares: “I started off really nicely with four birdies, then I made a double on a hole that I didn’t manage, even if I got a little unlucky. Then after that I got it back, made a great putt on nine for birdie. I got a little bit ahead of myself with the tee shot on ten, another double – two doubles in a round is always difficult to back up.
“I’m just a little bit disappointed I didn’t birdie the par five, the putter got a little cold as it got colder in the round but overall I’m still leading so it’s a great feeling. If you told me going into the week I’m going to be leading by Sunday I would be having some champagne already, so it’s a good thing.
“I just need to keep doing what I’m doing, I’m hitting the ball good, I’m hitting my tee shots really well, my second shots well. I just need to keep calm, keep the head on my shoulders and just play my golf.”
Maximilian Kieffer: “It was very good, I had a good day. The long game was very solid and that has been very strong for all three rounds. The putting has been a bit shaky here and there, and that was the same today as well, so I’m feeling confident for tomorrow.
“I haven’t practices my putting a lot in the last few weeks. I’ve spent a lot of time getting my swing where I want it to be because I haven’t hit the ball very well for about two years and you can’t put your energy into all parts of the game so I’ll be practicing the putting a little bit more now and hopefully the flow and the rhythm can come back which is what I’m struggling with.
“It was much nicer today that it has been in the last couple of days, it was obviously a little colder later in the day but when you have adrenaline you’re not struggling with the cold as much as you are in a Tuesday practice round.”
John Catlin: “I still feel like I’m in it, especially having not had my A-game today, to be two back going into tomorrow – it’s really anybody’s ball-game – so I’m looking forward to the challenge and we’ll see what happens.
“The round today was especially frustrating because I felt like there were more birdies out there and I was playing alright, on eight and nine I just put myself behind those trees and those holes are challenging enough as it is, so to have to hit 30 yard slices on back-to-back shots, that’s asking a lot.
“Other than that I felt like I hung in there well, but there were a lot of birdies out there.
“I think you always have something to prove and if you think you’ve got it all figured out you’re going to put yourself behind the 8-ball. I think that’s the beauty of golf, I guess we’re kind of greedy in a sense. It’s never really good enough – you win once, you want to win twice, you win twice you want to win three times and you win out here, you want to win a Major.”