HILVERSUM, Netherlands – PGA Championship winner Martin Kaymer shot a 4-under 66 to reach 10 under and take a one-shot lead in the third round of the KLM Open on Saturday.
However, the leader of Europe’s Race to Dubai money list had to work hard for the advantage against two challengers who have yet to win on tour and are not ranked inside the world’s top 250.
During his round, the sixth-ranked Kaymer found himself trailing Sweden’s Christian Nilsson, ranked 255th, and Paraguay’s Fabrizio Zanotti, ranked 279th.
Late mistakes cost them both as Zanotti, with a 5-under 65, the lowest score of the round, and Nilsson, who carded 68, had to settle for a share of second place at 9 under.
Another shot behind are Spain’s Gonzalo Fernandez Castano, India’s Shiv Kapur and Belgium’s Nicolas Colsaerts. At 7 under was American Todd Hamilton after the 2004 British Open winner shot a par 70.
Kaymer took the lead by finishing with two birdies, which included a brilliant bunker shot at the 18th. The German admitted a tip from his caddie Craig Connolly on the 16th fairway played an important part.
Connolly advised Kaymer that the weather forecast for Sunday’s fourth round includes a violent thunderstorm which could waterlog the Hilversumche course and reduce the tournament to 54 holes.
“I asked Craig should I play more aggressively over the final two holes to get into the lead and he said yes,” Kaymer said.
“I was definitely more aggressive setting up the birdie chance at the 17th and now that I have the lead I would expect myself to win.”
Kaymer also revealed that after earning his first Ryder Cup spot with his first major win last month, he has a new goal for 2010.
“I want to win the Order of Merit,” he said. “So every tournament from now is going to be important towards that.”