Australia’s Wade Ormsby is set to celebrate a 200th European Tour event in style after muscling his way to a one-stroke lead after three rounds of the Turkish Open in Belek on Saturday.
Ormsby, 34, brilliantly eagled his ninth hole in a four-under-par (68) round to sit at 12-under-par on the Montgomerie Maxx Royal course.
The Adelaide-born golfer, who has not won since turning pro in 2001, took full advantage of Ian Poulter’s indifferent display after the Englishman let slip a six-shot second round lead with a horror third day 75 for an 11-under-par total.
Fellow Englishman Lee Westwood holed his second shot at the seventh hole for eagle and then birdied the last in a score of 67 to finish tied with Poulter before being joined on 11-under-par by Germany’s Marcel Siem.
Siem, who captured last fortnight’s BMW Masters in Shanghai, birdied four of his closing eight holes and finished just prior to darkness.
Ormsby was the fourth-last player into this week’s event having arrived in Turkey lying 78th on the European Race to Dubai and ranked a lowly 264th in the world.
This year marks the first time the Formula One and V8 Supercar Series race fan will have retained full Tour playing rights since 2005.
In between Ormsby has not earned enough to retain his card and that necessitated return visits to the Tour’s Q-School.
“I’ve been to the Tour School so many times the past few seasons I think I’ve got my own locker,” Ormsby said.
However after capturing last year’s Asian Tour Panasonic Open in India, and the event he defended last week, Ormsby is on the verge of getting into the top-10 on the Race to Dubai should he succeed in Turkey.
It would also mean entry into next week’s season-finale DP World Tour Championship, a start in next year’s British Open and a number of the lucrative WGC events.
“I was due to fly to Melbourne next week and play in the Australian Masters but then I would be delighted to change my flight to Dubai,” he said.
The abandoning of any further play on Thursday afternoon due to thunderstorms meant the second round did not conclude to near lunch on Saturday and with Poulter in a commanding position six clear on 10-under-par.
However a third round including just two birdies but also three bogeys and a 15th hole double bogey where he hit a tree with a wedge second shot sees the current world No.40 ending the day one behind.
Both Westwood and Siem are looking to win for a second time this year and if Siem should succeed it would be his second victory in the Final Four Series.
If so, it would put the German in contention to deny Rory McIlroy next week’s Race to Dubai No.1 crown.