Luiten leads Wales Open by two shots

Third Round – European Tour – ISPS Handa Wales Open –Celtic Manor Resort – Newport, Wales –

The Netherlands’ Joost Luiten shot 6-under-65 to secure the 54-hole lead at the European Tour’s ISPS Handa Wales Open.

Luiten is 14-under overall and leads by two shots. He has finished twice in the Top 5 at this event over the last few seasons.

Luiten, 16th in the Race to Dubai standings and 48th in the Official World Golf Ranking, shot 65-69 to open the week. His third-round included birdies at three of the final four holes at Celtic Manor Resort.

Ireland’s Shane Lowry, a European Tour champion, is alone in second at 12-under overall.

Gregory Havret and Thongchai Jaidee – both at 11-under – are tied for third place. Jaidee, a winner at the Nordea Masters a few months ago, is the highest ranked player near the top of the leader board at No. 42. He won this title two seasons ago.

Jamie Donaldson, Tommy Fleetwood and Edoardo Molinari are all inside the Top 10 with a shot to win with a low round on Sunday.

Paul Casey, who won the KLM Open last week, opened with 71 but made the weekend cut. He failed to contend this week along with a slimmed-down Lee Westwood and Thomas Bjorn. Westwood and Bjorn – both gearing up the Ryder Cup next week – will play through Sunday’s final round. Captain’s pick Stephen Gallacher (78-70) carded just two birdies in two rounds against eight bogeys. He missed the cut.

Defending champion Gregory Bourdy missed the cut in Wales along with Pablo Larrazabal. Simon Dyson and Alvaro Quiros both withdrew before the weekend.

Other Golf News:

  • Zac Blair (12-under heading into round three) leads the Tour Championship by three shots. He opened 63-65 to sleep on the 36-hole lead. Derek Fathauer, solo second at 9-under, continues to challenge during the Tour Finals. Tommy Gainey and Jason Gore are both in the Top 10 heading into the weekend.
  • Paula Reto (65-66) tops the leader board after two rounds at the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic in Alabama. She leads M.J. Hur, who was in the mix last week to win the Evian Championship in France, is three shots back, while Rolex Ranking No. 1 Stacy Lewis sits at 9-under.
  • After a 12-under-60, Tom Pernice Jr. leads the Champions Tour visit to Hawaii for the Pacific Links Hawaii Championship. Michael Allen is four back heading into Saturday. Pernice Jr. won earlier this season at the Principal Charity Classic in Iowa in early June.
  • Lexi Thompson missed the LPGA Tour cut this week, while Chad Campbell, Kyle Stanley, Y.E. Yang and Josh Teater missed the cut in the Tour Championship.
  • Patrick Tallent, 61, captured the U.S. Senior Amateur in Newport, California winning 2 & 1 in the championship match.
  • The PGA Tour’s 2014-2015 season begins Oct. 9 at the Open in Napa, California. The tournament features the start of the new FedEx Cup season. The tour plays three events in America before heading to Kuala Lumpur for the CIMB Classic in late October/early November.