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Huizing six clear at Galgorm Castle

Daan Huizing. Picture © Press Eye Belfast. Daan Huizing will take a six shot lead into the final round of the Northern Ireland Open Challenge presented by Clannah and XJET after a flawless third round of five under par 66 saw him soar clear of the field at the Galgorm Castle Golf Club, writes the European Challenge Tour.
 
The flying Dutchman has not made a bogey at Galgorm since the first hole of his second round on Friday morning and such consistency, coupled with five third round birdies, has put the 22 year in a brilliant position to claim a maiden Challenge Tour title.
 
Huizing will begin the final day six clear of Sweden’s Jens Dantorp, Englishman James Heath and Germany’s Bernd Ritthammer, who posted respective scores of 69, 65 and 68 to move into a share of second spot on ten under.
 
Former Ryder Cup player Oliver Wilson posted his own 68 to move to nine under, but Daan is most certainly the man to catch at the €170,000 event.
 
“It took me a few holes to relax into the round today but once I did that I managed to play really well and take a few chances,” said Huizing, who has produced four Top-5 Challenge Tour finishes in just six appearances this season.
 
“I knew that I had a nice lead and once I got into my game today I just wanted to keep going and to try and make as many birdies as I could because the bigger the lead I have then the better it is going into the final round.
 
“To be six ahead is really good because I can probably be a little bit more conservative tomorrow. If I had only been a couple under today then there would have been a few guys who would be looking at the scores know if they shot six under in the final round then they could catch me, so it is good to have such a lead going into the final round.”
 
Huizing revelled in the fantastic atmosphere at Galgorm Castle, with 6,072 people coming through the gates to watch some of Europe’s finest young talents in action.
 
“The crowds here are so knowledgeable and it makes a really big difference when you are playing in front of a British crowd,” said Huizing.
 
“Their appreciation if good shots just makes you want to perform for them so I hope they come out tomorrow and keep supporting the tournament because it has been amazing to play in front of so many people this week.”
 
Unfortunately the home galleries could not inspire the home players to make a third round move at Galgorm, with Jonathan Caldwell (71) the leading Irishman on five under par.
 
But those who do make it through the gates for Sunday’s final round could just be witnessing the birth a star, as Huizing looks to close out his first Challenge Tour win and take a huge step towards promotion to The European Tour.

Neil O’ Briain dropped three shots over the last three holes to slip to 19th on four under after a 72 as Waterville’s Mark Murphy climbed 18 spots to 30th on three under after a second successive 69.

Ruaidhri McGee (71), Mick McGeady (74) and amateur Dermot McElroy (74) are tied 36th on two under with Mourne amateur Reeve Whitson (72) back in 43rd on one under.

Niall Kearney didn’t make a birdie in a two over 73, falling to 54th on level par with Galgorm Castle’s Gareth Shaw (74) tied 59th on one over.

Northern Ireland Open Challenge, Galgorm Castle GC (Par 71)

197 D Huizing (Ned) 65 66 66;

203 J Dantorp (Swe) 65 69 69; J Heath  (Eng) 67 71 65; B Ritthammer (Ger) 64 71 68;

204 O Wilson (Eng) 66 70 68;

205 S Walker (Eng) 71 70 64;

206 N Lemke (Swe) 70 69 67; J McLeary  (Sco) 66 75 65; M Armitage (Eng) 70 65 71;

207 A McArthur  (Sco) 65 70 72; P Widegren  (Swe) 67 72 68;

208 D Stewart (Sco) 70 66 72; M Ford (Eng) 71 69 68; D Vancsik (Arg) 69 70 69; A Johnston (Eng) 66 73 69; J Caldwell  (Nir) 68 69 71; M Crespi  (Ita) 67 69 72; G Houston (Wal) 67 69 72;

209 T Pilkadaris (Aus) 66 71 72; T Nørret (Den) 66 75 68; J Guerrier  (Fra) 68 70 71; J Barnes (Eng) 68 73 68; M Glauert (Ger) 70 69 70; J Mikkelsen (Nor) 69 69 71; N O’Briain (Irl) 67 70 72; T Hatton (Eng) 67 72 70; R Kakko  (Fin) 70 70 69; J Carlsson (Swe) 68 69 72; L Goddard  (Eng) 69 71 69;

210 G Stal  (Fra) 68 73 69; H Porteous (RSA) 68 70 72; M Murphy (Irl) 72 69 69; R McGowan  (Eng) 65 69 76; B Parker  (Eng) 68 71 71; J Ruth  (Eng) 64 71 75;

211 N Ravano (Ita) 71 70 70; B Hebert  (Fra) 67 69 75; C Russo (Fra) 67 71 73; M McGeady (Irl) 65 72 74; R McGee (Irl) 70 70 71; A Bernadet  (Fra) 71 70 70; D McElroy (am) (Nir) 67 70 74;

212 G Murray  (Sco) 67 72 73; J Senior (Eng) 68 73 71; N Dougherty  (Eng) 66 73 73; F Calmels  (Fra) 69 71 72; S Kim (Kor) 69 71 72; H Joannes  (Bel) 71 68 73; E Dubois (Fra) 72 69 71; D Perrier (Fra)
68 70 74; B An (Kor) 68 71 73; D Im (USA) 67 69 76; R Whitson (am) (Nir) 71 69 72;

213 N Kearney (Irl) 69 71 73; V Riu  (Fra) 70 70 73; R Steiner (Aut) 71 70 72; S Tiley (Eng) 70 71 72; J Garcia Pinto (Esp) 70 71 72;

214 J Lima  (Por) 70 70 74; G Shaw (Nir) 68 72 74; D Griffiths  (Eng) 68 73 73;

215 P Archer (Eng) 69 72 74;

216 P Dwyer (Eng) 70 71 75;