Welshman in Position to Win at Wales Open

RSS

NEWPORT, Wales -- There's probably a few things Bradley Dredge would like to accomplish that Padraig Harrington already has.
 
Sunday, he'll be concentrating on just one.
 
'I really want to win this,' Dredge said Saturday after shooting a 4-under 65 to claim a share of the lead heading into the final round of the Wales Open.
 
Two weeks ago, Harrington became the first Irishman in 25 years to win the Irish Open when he beat Dredge in a playoff. If Dredge pulls through this week, he would become the first Welshman to win his national championship in its eight-year history.
 
He is tied with Germany's Martin Kaymer at 10-under 197.
 
'Padraig said after beating me that, after the majors, your home open is the one you want to win the most,' said Dredge, 'and he hit the nail right on the head. You always want to win your national title.'
 
Dredge came into the tournament as the highest-ranked Welshman in the world at No. 66, but with so many top European players in the field, the two-time tour winner was hardly a favorite.
 
After opening with back-to-back 66s in the first two rounds, he posted six birdies and two bogeys for his 65 on Saturday and earned a share of the lead only after Kaymer closed with two straight bogeys.
 
Kaymer, a 22-year-old rookie, matched Dredge's 65 in the third round. Before his two-hole meltdown, he had been bogey-free since the first round.
 
'I'm really disappointed in the finish, but I'm still tied for the lead,' Kaymer said. 'I couldn't keep it going, but that's how it is.'
 
Overnight leader Mads Vibe-Hastrup of Denmark shot a 1-under 68 and was tied for third place with South Africa's Richard Sterne (64) at 9-under 198.
 
Englishman Paul Broadhurst (67) shared fifth place with Denmark's Soren Kjeldsen (64), Ireland's Gary Murphy (66) and South Africa's David Frost (67) at 8-under 199.
 
Dredge has made his run up the leaderboard with consistent and accurate tee shots, hitting 31 of 39 fairways through 54 holes at Celtic Manor.
 
It's that part of his game that has helped him on holes like the 16th, a 529-yard par five where Dredge has made birdie on the last two days. He tapped in for his birdie on No. 16 Saturday, pulling within one shot of Kaymer's lead.
 
'I feel like I'm driving the ball well, which is key for my game,' Dredge said.
 
Sunday, he will be going for his first European Tour win since his stunning eight-shot victory at the Omega European Masters last September. Dredge claimed his first title at the 2003 Madeira Island Open. He and Stephen Dodd also teamed to win the 2005 World Cup of Golf.
 
Sunday, he'll have the support of the gallery.
 
'I'm sure they'll turn out in force tomorrow and get right behind me,' Dredge said.
 
Among the previous seven winners, only 2004 champion Simon Khan and 2002 winner Paul Lawrie remain to challenge for a second Wales Open title. Khan was at 6-under 201 and Lawrie stood three shots further back at 204.
 
Defending champion Robert Karlsson missed the cut Friday. None of the other previous winners was in the field this week.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Celtic Manor Wales Open
  • GOLF CHANNEL Airtimes