Sport Horsfield retains Hero Open lead into final round despite erratic display
In-form Horsfield surges into Celtic Classic lead
The in-form Sam Horsfield is the man to catch heading into the weekend at The Celtic Manor Resort.Horsfield claimed his first victory at the Hero Open a fortnight ago and was back at the top of the leaderboard again at The Celtic Manor Resort on Friday.
Sam Horsfield finished a second successive round top of the Hero Open leaderboard, but he will rue an alarming back nine that could give his chasers confidence heading into the final day in Birmingham.
Horsfield carded an exceptional nine-under 63 on Friday to share the lead with Sebastian Garcia-Rodriguez, but the Englishman charged ahead initially in the penultimate round.
Horsfield holds his nerve at Hero Open to clinch first European Tour title
The Hero Open concluded in Birmingham on Sunday, with Sam Horsfield winning on the European Tour for the first time.Despite sitting atop the leaderboard for each of the previous two days, Horsfield came into the final round in Birmingham having endured an alarming back nine on Saturday.
Five birdies on an unblemished front nine had Horsfield looking destined for a commanding advantage, as he found himself in a six-shot lead.
But his form nose-dived after the turn, going four over par for the back nine, a score exacerbated by a double-bogey on the par-five 12th.
A tale of two nines
Sam Horsfield will take a one shot lead into Sunday.— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour)
Oliver Farr and Mikko Korhonen both shot 67, while a 66 for Rasmus Hojgaard meant he joined that duo at just one stroke back of Horsfield at 13 under.
Chris Paisley and Garcia Rodriguez – who went one over for the round – are a further shot back, but will still fancy their chances on Sunday.
While Garcia Rodriguez endured a disappointing round, he can at least console himself with arguably the shot of the day, as he somehow found the green from behind a tree trunk despite the ball lying awkwardly close to a thick twig in heavy rough.
Kieffer sixth in Birmingham - 707. Start for Jimenez
© getty images Best performance of the season: Maximilian Kieffer in Birmingham. Kieffer needed a total of 275 strokes at the Hero Open and ended the event, which is endowed with a million euros, on Sunday in sixth place - his best seasonal achievement. The Englishman Sam Horsfield celebrated his first victory on the European Tour. The 23-year-old prevailed with 270 strokes just ahead of the Belgian Thomas Detry (271).
A huge twig right behind the ball?!
Most golfers wouldn't take on this shot. Most golfers wouldn't execute it either— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour)
His compatriot Miguel Angel Jimenez, competing in a record 707th European Team event this week, slipped away further as he also went round in 73, giving him a score of seven-under heading into the final day.
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