Australia’s Richard Green has shot 62 for the lowest round of the BMW International Open so far, while former champion Pablo Larrazabal is on course for victory after being handed a three-shot lead on day three of the tournament near Cologne.
Larrazabal, who won the event three years ago in Munich, birdied four of his closing five holes in a bogey-free 67 to move to a three-shot lead on 17-under par at the Gut Larcenhof course.
However, the 31-year old Barcelona golfer was just one shot ahead with a hole to play when playing partner, Emiliano Grillo of Argentina found water with his approach shot into the last, walking off with a double bogey and dropped to an eight-way share of second place on 14-under par.
Those also 14-under par include Green, as well as former BMW International winners Robert Karlsson of Sweden (68) and Thomas Bjorn of Denmark (66), Italy’s Francesco Molinari (65), Swedish world number two Henrik Stenson (66), and the Spanish pair of Rafa Cabrera-Bello (70) and Carlos Del Moral (70).
Green’s effort was the lowest round of the week and also the Melbourne-born golfer’s lowest-ever European Tour round.
It included an eagle and eight birdies and with the triple Tour winner completing the back nine in just 28 strokes.
And Green was still relishing having joined fellow competitors Jamie Donaldson of Wales and countryman Wade Ormsby, spending Wednesday afternoon racing rented VW Golf GTIs around the 20.8 kilometre famed Nurburgring race circuit located some 70 kilometres south of Cologne.
“The fantastic experience of racing around the Nurburgring certainly put a bit of racing fuel into the veins this week,” said Green.
“Also is seems that every time I involve a little bit of motor racing with my golf, I play well and that’s been the case this week.”
Larrazabal went into the third round in a four-way share of the lead on 12-under par but then was just one under through 12 holes of his third round before birdieing the 13th, 14th, 15th and 17th holes.
“I know I can play better golf but not to have a bogey in three days is good so while it was tough at the beginning of my round, it ended well for me.”
Larrazabal, who first joined the European Tour in 2008, is not only looking to celebrate a 200th event but he is also chasing a second Tour success this year after denying both Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson victory in January’s Abu Dhabi Championship.