Golf: Ryan Fox leads Soudal Open heading into final round, Steven Alker eyes senior major


Ryan Fox acknowledges the crowd on 17th green during the third round of the Soudal Open at Rinkven International Golf Club in Antwerp, Belgium. Photo / Getty

Ryan Fox birdied the 18th hole to take a one-shot lead into the final round of the Soudal Open overnight.

The New Zealander bogeyed early in his third round at Rinkven International to slip off the pace, but birdied his next hole, and reeled off five more coming home in a five-under-par 66.

Fox won his second European tour title in February in the United Arab Emirates, and has two top-10s this month ahead of what will be his 12th major appearance at the PGA Championship next week.

“I played really solid on the back nine, didn’t miss a shot, holed a couple of putts as well,” Fox said.

“I hope I’ve figured something out after a couple of scrappy drives early in the round and felt pretty good from the 10th hole on so hopefully I can take that into [the final round].

“On this course, regardless of how you’re playing you feel like you’ve got lots of chances, you can always manage to get a couple of irons in the fairways and still give yourself some wedges and the greens are rolling lovely and you can hole some putts.

“You know you’re going to make some mistakes, which I’ve done, but thankfully I’ve made a few birdies to counteract it.

“I’ve been in contention the last couple of weeks as well and not really done much on Sunday, so I’m looking forward to being in the mix again. Sam Horsfield is playing some good golf as well, so hopefully we’ll have a good one. tussle. “

Fox was at 11-under, one shot ahead of Horsfield, the co-leader in the first two rounds.

The English golfer was one off the lead after a bogey on the ninth, then two in front after a birdie on the 11th. But he parred the rest of the way for a second straight 69.

“I made some really silly mistakes and had a lot of adrenaline running through me so was hitting some shots that were just going so far,” Horsfield explained.

“The final round will be fun. I know Foxy pretty well, he’s a great dude so it’s going to be really good to battle with him.”

Meanwhile, on the Champions Tour, Kiwi Steven Alker sits three shots back in second heading into the final round of the Regions Tradition, the first senior major of the season.

Alker shot a seven-under 65 to move to 14-under for the tournament, three behind American Steve Stricker who shot a third-round 66.

The 50-year-old Kiwi is coming off victory in his last event at the Insperity Invitational which put him top of the season standings.

A two-time winner this year already, Alker is chasing his first major championship.

“It would mean a lot,” Alker said. “I’ve won three times and the majors are a big deal out here. We’ve got five of them so we’ve got a good shot at a few.

“You always say try and treat it as another day. But that’s what I’m going to try to do. I’m just having fun out here and hitting my shots.”

On the LPGA Tour, Lydia Ko carded a three-under 69 to move to four-under and into a share of 32nd at the Founders Cup. Minjee Lee leads at 17-under, one clear of Madelene Sagstrom with Lexi Thompson a further two shots back.

Angel Yin (11-under) is the only other player within seven strokes of the lead.

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