SUTTON COLDFIELD, England (AP) — English trio Andy Sullivan, Oliver Wilson and James Morrison were part of a six-way tie going into the final round of the British Masters, while tournament favorite Justin Rose remained in contention despite carding a 2-over 74 on Saturday.
Joost Luiten of the Netherlands, Italy’s Guido Migliozzi and Niklas Norgaard of Denmark were also tied at 7-under 209 as a blustery wind wreaked havoc at The Belfry.
Rose took the early lead after a 65 in the opening round but carded a 73 in the second and was a shot worse on Saturday to sit three shots back in an event he won in 2002 and hosted in 2018.
Luiten and Migliozzi both shot a 68, while the other four co-leaders all carded 70 in the third round.
Sullivan said he was “absolutely buzzing” to be in contention for a fifth European tour title after making birdies on the 17th and 18th.
“I wanted to do something like that all day to try and get it going, fortunately it came on the last,” Sullivan said after holing from 40 feet on the last. “I was just grateful for it to hit the hole because it might actually have gone down the other ridge. I didn’t get anything going all day, very steady, very solid, and then yeah, the last couple of holes it was sweet to finish like that.”
Wilson surged into the lead with four birdies on his first seven holes, but missed from three feet for another on the ninth and then dropped shots on the 10th and 11th before carding seven straight pars.
France’s Antoine Rozner had holed a bunker shot on the eighth and birdied the ninth to join Wilson in the lead on 9 under, only to dump two wedge shots into the water on the 10th and make a quadruple-bogey 8.
Rose was initially put down for a triple bogey of his own on the 12th when he appeared to need multiple attempts to hack his ball out of a muddy lie on the edge of a water hazard, but had actually been taking two practice swings.
“My ball was plugged inside the hazard but fortunately there was a rule official near me and he clarified you can take practice swings,” Rose said. “My thinking was if I just wallop it really, really hard can I kind of take all the earth that my ball is sitting in and just move it forward the three or four yards that I need. I took big heaves of a practice swing and felt like I could do it, so the third swing you saw was my attempt at the ball.”
Matthew Baldwin made a hole-in-one on the par-3 14th, which earns a donation of 50,000 pounds ($63,500) from a tournament sponsor to a British cancer research organization as it is the same hole where tournament host Nick Faldo hit an ace during the 1993 Ryder Cup.