European Tour

Wattel leads KLM Open

Romain Wattel (Getty Images)
Romain Wattel (Getty Images)

Zandvoort - Romain Wattel of France shot his third consecutive round in the 60s on Saturday to take the KLM Open lead at 14-under as Paul Casey narrowly missed the first ever 59 on the European Tour.

Wattel had seven birdies before a single bogey on the 17th for a 64, to follow up rounds of 67 and 65 on Thursday and Friday and take a three-shot lead over second-placed Richie Ramsay of Scotland.

Casey was third after nearly making history at the par-70 Kennemer Golf & Country Club.

Needing an eagle for a 59, his second shot on the par-four ninth - the last hole of his third round - pitched close to the cup before spinning left and off the green.

The Englishman then over-hit his chip back onto the green and two-putted to finish with his first bogey and a wry smile as he matched the course record of 8-under 62 set a day earlier by overnight leader Pablo Larrazabal.

Starting his round from the 10th, Casey made five birdies on his outward nine and four more coming home before his final-hole bogey.

"I'm really not bothered about the 59, I wasn't thinking about it. It wasn't until my caddie said that was almost a 59 that I thought about it," said Casey, whose partner gave birth to the couple's son on Sept. 1.

"The disappointment was making a bogey on the last, not in missing out on a 59," Casey said. "I'm just happy I'm playing some good stuff. Life is great. I've got a little one at home now, and it just means I have to go home a little later now."

Defending champion Joost Luiten of the Netherlands recovered from a quadruple bogy nine on his second hole to post a 3-under 67 that left him still in the hunt, six shots behind Wattel.

"Not the start I wanted," Luiten said.

Leading third round scores from the EPGA Dutch Open at Kennemer Golf and Country Club in Zandvoort on Saturday (GBR & IRL unless stated, par 70):

196 - Romain Wattel (FRA) 67 65 64

199 - Richie Ramsay 69 65 65

200 - Paul Casey 68 70 62

201 - Peter Uihlein (USA) 66 68 67, Andy Sullivan 67 68 66

202 - Joost Luiten (NED) 65 70 67, Simon Dyson 70 66 66, Gary Stal (FRA) 66 71 65

203 - Maximilian Kieffer (GER) 67 68 68, Andrea Pavan (ITA) 66 70 67, Eddie Pepperell 69 68 66, Edoardo Molinari (ITA) 66 66 71, Thomas Pieters (BEL) 70 66 67

205 - Mikko Ilonen (FIN) 69 66 70, Paul Waring 69 71 65, Pablo Larrazabal (ESP) 68 62 75, James Morrison 73 67 65, Emiliano Grillo (ARG) 72 66 67, Joachim B Hansen (DEN) 72 66 67, Brooks Koepka (USA) 69 66 70, Robert Rock 73 67 65

206 - Robert Jan Derksen (NED) 71 67 68, Craig Lee 69 69 68, Thomas Aiken (RSA) 67 68 71, Chris Wood 69 67 70, Nicolas Colsaerts (BEL) 72 68 66, Oliver Fisher 70 66 70, Robert Karlsson (SWE) 69 69 68, Jbe Kruger (RSA) 73 63 70, Shane Lowry 70 69 67, Miguel Angel Jimenez (ESP) 71 69 66, Wade Ormsby (AUS) 70 69 67, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (ESP) 71 69 66

Selected:

208 - Padraig Harrington 70 68 70

210 - Darren Clarke 73 67 70

212 - Jeev Milkha Singh (IND) 72 68 72, An Byeong-Hun An (KOR) 72 68 72

214 - Gaganjeet Bhullar (IND) 70 69 75

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