Aug 23rd, 2020
Soderberg and Syme out front at Celtic Manor
Duo lead by three in ISPS HANDA Wales Open
Words: GolfPunk Photography: Getty Images
Swede Soderberg is chasing a second title in as many years, having overcome four-time Major winner Rory McIlroy in a play-off to claim his maiden win at last year's Omega European Masters. Syme, meanwhile, is targeting a first European Tour title and a wire-to-wire victory, having come close to winning last week's Celtic Classic at this same venue.
The Scot birdied the difficult par five 18th hole for the third successive time this week, and the fifth time in seven rounds over the Twenty Ten Course, to sign for a second successive 70 and ensure he did not relinquish his place at the summit - where he has finished each round this week.
“It was a nice way to finish. I felt like I played really solid today and just never got any putts to drop unfortunately, so I was saying to my caddie there, it can all be forgotten about if I manage to hole that putt at the last. So it was a perfect way to finish." said Syme.
Soderberg carded a bogey-free three-under 68 to join Syme at the top, three shots clear of Sami Välimäki - who has won already this season having picked up his first European Tour title at the Oman Open. The Finn carded a 67 for a four-under total.
“It’s probably one of the better bogey-free rounds I’ve ever played. I hit a lot of good shots, always kept the ball in play off the tee and my short game was just perfect every time I was in trouble. It wasn’t stress free but it was very good." said Soderberg.
Molinari, who starred in Europe's Ryder Cup victory at Celtic Manor ten years ago, and 2016 Ryder Cup player Pieters were a shot further back on three-under-par after respective third rounds of 68 and 69.