CELADNA, Czech Republic (AP) — Ryder Cup hopeful Peter Hanson shot a 5-under 67 to open a four-stroke lead Saturday after the third round of the Czech Open.
Hanson, who was tied for the overnight lead with fellow Swede Fredrik Widmark, birdied four of the last six holes to finish at 12-under 204 at the Prosper Golf Resort.
“I really took my birdie chances on the way in on 13 and 14,” Hanson said. “I was very happy with the up and down on 16. It was a tough lie just off the green and then the long putt on the last.”
Hanson, who won the Mallorca Open in May, is 15th on the points list and a victory could help him make the Europe Ryder Cup team.
“The last day will be a bit tense with what is at stake,” he said. “Winning the event is a huge thing, but even with the Ryder Cup there will be tension.”
Miguel Angel Jimenez of Spain, who co-designed the 7,155-yard course at the northeastern Czech town, also shot a 67 to move up from 18th to a share of second with Englishman Simon Dyson at 8-under 208.
Jimenez, eighth in the standings, is close to automatically making the Ryder Cup team. Dyson, who is 16th, needs a good result to have a chance to qualify.
“Miguel is trying to hold on to his spot and stay in the team,” Hanson said. “Both me and Simon are trying our best to push our way on to it.”
Jimenez knows what’s at stake.
“Tomorrow is very important for the Ryder Cup and I need to play well,” the 46-year-old Spaniard said. “You never know what happens, these people play well.”
Next week’s Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles, Scotland, is the final event in the race for the nine automatic Europe Ryder Cup spots.