David Lipsky of the United States is braced for an enthralling finish after he carded a four-under-par 66 to stay within sights of third round English leader Graeme Storm at the €2.3 million (approximately US$3 million) Omega European Masters on Saturday.
The one-time Asian Tour winner will head into the final round of the Swiss showpiece in fourth place after compiling a three-day total of 13-under-par 197 at the Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club.
Like his namesake, the Englishman stormed to the top of the leaderboard with his 64 and had an even better day to remember when he drove home a BMW sports car worth around US$160,000 courtesy of his ace on the 217-yard par three 11th.
Compatriot Tommy Fleetwood is in second place on 195 while American Brooks Koepka is in third after he posted a 66.
Starting the day in tied-fifth, Lipsky set off on a blistering pace with two birdies in his opening three holes.
He turned in 33 after another birdie on seven and ensured he would remain in the mix by trading two birdies against one bogey in his closing three holes.
“It was pretty good today. I missed a few opportunities out there and wished that a few putts would have dropped. But still I’m pretty happy with my round,” said the 26-year-old Lipsky.
Apart from the credentials of his closest rivals, Lipsky knows accuracy will be the key for him to lift his first title since his maiden win in Cambodia in 2012.
“It’s hard to get close to some of these pins with the greens around here. It’s difficult to get up and down and that can get you the big numbers especially if you’re on the wrong side.
But I would like to stick to what I’ve been doing so far, give myself opportunities and hopefully the putts will drop,” said Lipsky.
Meanwhile Storm admitted it was his magical ace on 11 that played a crucial role in turning his game around.
Prior to his masterstroke on the par-three 11, the Englishman suffered a bogey-five on 10 and reveled in delight with his quick turnaround in the next hole.
“It’s funny because on the 10th, I missed a par putt from three feet so I was actually feeling a bit low when I got to the 11th tee. It shows you how quickly this game can turn around,” said Storm.
Storm teed up on the left and drove the ball just off the green where it spun towards the middle of the cup before dropping.
“To win a car is absolutely magnificent, especially as I had to sell mine because we couldn’t afford to have two cars anymore,” added the Englishman.
Fleetwood also had a remarkable round that featured eight birdies with his only blemish coming at the par-four second.
The Englishman is ready for his final push that would cap a memorable week.
“I can’t wait. There was a fantastic atmosphere out there today and it was a real pleasure to play golf, so it should hopefully be even better tomorrow. It’s a great tournament and it’s always been one of my favourites of the year, so to go out in the last group is going to be very, very exciting,” said Fleetwood.
The Omega European Masters is the only tournament on European soil to be jointly sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour since 2009 and marks the start of the second half of the Asian Tour season.