Sinking Phelan for Kevin in Perth

Irish golfer needs a miracle in the final round to save his tour card and avoid having to go to Tour School

 Kevin Phelan  needs a golfing miracle to save his tour card in Perth. Photograph:  Stanley Chou/Getty Images

Kevin Phelan needs a golfing miracle to save his tour card in Perth. Photograph: Stanley Chou/Getty Images

 

Ireland’s Kevin Phelan could only manage a level par, third round, 72, and as a result his chances of saving his tour card are now on the distant side of remote as he trails Thorbjørn Olesen by 13 shots at the ISPS HANDA Perth International.

The Waterford golfer needs to finish in the top four to save his card on the European Tour or will instead have to go to Tour School and the latter option looks the more likely. Even breaking the course record (63) probably wouldn’t suffice.

Olesen, the 24 year old Dane had spoken yesterday of his belief that a second European Tour title was overdue, and set about fulfilling that prophecy with three birdies in his first four holes at Lake Karrinyup Country Club.

Further gains followed at the 11th, 12th and 14th, before the former Sicilian Open winner dropped his only shot of the day at the 15th.

That led to a five under par 67 and a 16 under par total, three ahead of nearest challenger Sihwan Kim.

Kim is looking to make it consecutive Korean wins in Perth following Jin Jeong’s triumph 12 months ago, and is playing under the added pressure of fighting to keep his European Tour card.

Only the top 111 players on The Race to Dubai at close of play tomorrow will retain their playing privileges for next season, and at 138th in the current standings the Challenge Tour graduate needs a top-two finish.

The same is true for overnight leader Peter Whiteford, who started the week 149th, but despite birdieing the first hole the Scot could only manage a 75 which left him seven shots back.

James Morrison followed yesterday’s course record 63 with a 69 to move into third on 12 under, with America’s Peter Uihlein a shot further back after a round of 65.

The man in the firing line for those trying to keep their cards, 111th-ranked Matthew Nixon, eased his fears of a return to Qualifying School as a round of 69 took him to six under.

His nearest pursuers to make the cut, 116 David Drysdale and 117 Carlos del Moral, shot rounds of 71 and 69 respectively and lie tied fifth and tied 33rd – both need at least top-16 finishes.

ROUND THREE SCORES

200 T Olesen (Den) 64 69 67,

203 S Kim (Kor) 66 68 69,

204 J Morrison (Eng) 72 63 69,

205 P Uihlein (USA) 69 71 65,

206 R Green (Aus) 68 68 70, D Drysdale (Sco) 67 68 71,

207 L Bjerregaard (Den) 71 70 66, P Whiteford (Sco) 66 66 75, G Stal (Fra) 69 71 67, M Foster (Eng) 67 73 67, C Schwartzel (RSA) 68 69 70, S Dartnall (Aus) 68 71 68,

208 A Pavan (Ita) 71 70 67, J Norris (Aus) 71 69 68, N Green (Aus) 71 71 66, V Dubuisson (Fra) 71 67 70, J Hansen (Den) 71 68 69, M Korhonen (Fin) 71 70 67,

209 J Dufner (USA) 70 70 69, M Fraser (Aus) 68 70 71, N Gillespie (Nzl) 71 71 67,

210 M Nixon (Eng) 70 71 69, J Nitties (Aus) 69 69 72, R Gibson (Aus) 70 70 70, J McLeary (Sco) 70 71 69, R Bland (Eng) 68 72 70, M Griffin (Aus) 67 73 70, C Rice (Aus) 68 72 70,

211 P O’Malley (Aus) 72 69 70, J Scrivener (Aus) 67 74 70, J Wade (Aus) 64 72 75, R Fox (Nzl) 69 70 72,

212 W Ormsby (Aus) 72 68 72, G Bourdy (Fra) 69 72 71, B Rumford (Aus) 67 72 73, M Carlsson (Swe) 67 76 69, J Quesne (Fra) 67 73 72, S Jeffress (Aus) 74 69 69, C Del Moral (Esp) 71 72 69, G Chalmers (Aus) 70 73 69,

213 K Phelan (Irl) 72 69 72, S Manley (Wal) 73 68 72, D McGrane (Irl) 70 70 73, J Younger (Aus) 69 70 74, J Heath (Eng) 72 71 70, J Doherty (Sco) 69 72 72,

214 R Gonzalez (Arg) 68 74 72, R Haller (Aus) 71 69 74, S Jamieson (Sco) 69 74 71, D McKenzie (Aus) 70 70 74, S Wakefield (Eng) 72 67 75, P Spargo (Aus) 70 70 74, D Huizing (Ned) 68 73 73, S Hansen (Den) 72 71 71, D Bransdon (Aus) 69 72 73, J Parry (Eng) 69 72 73, S Kjeldsen (Den) 69 71 74,

215 B Ninyette (Aus) 69 74 72, S Bowditch (Aus) 73 70 72, A Brown (Aus) 68 75 72

216 T Lewis (Eng) 66 74 76, M Long (Nzl) 69 74 73, N Holman (Aus) 73 68 75, N Elvira (Esp) 71 71 74,

217 D Nisbet (Aus) 71 72 74, M Sim (Aus) 66 77 74, C Lee (Sco) 73 69 75, O Goss (Aus) 68 74 75, R Kakko (Fin) 72 71 74,

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