Eagle sends Hend to the top
 Scott Hend. Picture: Getty Images

Scott Hend. Picture: Getty Images

Australian Scott Hend eagled Wenworth Club’s par five closing for hole for the second consecutive day to take a one shot lead into the final round of the BMW PGA Championship.

The 43 year old produced a superb eight iron approach shot from the rough to within five feet, before duly converting the putt for a round of 73 to move to nine under par as he leapfrogged Englishman Tyrrell Hatton at the top of the leaderboard.

Hend is chasing his second European Tour title of 2016 after winning the True Thailand Classic presented by Chang in March and like his playing partner, Masters Champion Danny Willett, he had endured a frustrating back nine, with three consecutive bogeys from the 13th hole, until that grandstand finish.

Willett will start the final round three shots back on six under par after carding five bogeys in his closing ten holes, with the only birdie in his four over par round of 76 coming on the fifth hole.

It is Willett’s compatriot Hatton, who hails from nearby Marlow and grew up watching the BMW PGA Championship, who leads the home charge after a fine six under par 66, which included five birdies in seven holes on the back nine. Hatton is one shot behind the leader Hend, while Lee Westwood, the two-time runner up, is a further shot back on seven under par after closing his round with back-to-back birdies for a round of 68.

He is joined in a share third place by former US PGA Champion YE Yang, who signed for a round of 75, while another Major Champion, Martin Kaymer (70) joins Willett in a six-way share of fifth position on six under par.

Scott Hend

“I was three over par coming into the last, so to make a four or a three is always an added bonus. I had 160 metres to the pin and fortunately had a nice lie in the rough, so just tried to hit a neutral eight iron. It got a bit of a lucky bounce and rolled close to the hole. 
“It’s a big one, but to put it in perspective I’m just treating it like another tournament. If things happen afterwards, then you can look back at it in retrospect and think about it, but right now it’s just another golf tournament and I’m just trying to do what I do for a living. It’s going to be tough tomorrow because it’s pretty congested there. The golf course is starting to firm up and if the sun stays out it’s going to be quite tricky.”

Tyrrell Hatton

“I think it’s my lowest round here and first round in the 60s, so I’m very pleased. I putted really nicely today. I holed a couple of good par putts which kept the momentum going. I’ve been walking around this place since I was five years old and I was in awe of the guys inside of the ropes, so to be playing my third BMW PGA is great. I love this event.”

Lee Westwood

“My short game was pretty sharp. I made a couple of mental errors but other than that I played really solidly all day. I was pleased that I didn’t make any bogeys, make any mistakes. I didn’t really make a long putt but felt like I rolled it on line a lot of the time. I was just trying to make up some ground. I think Wentworth is a difficult course to lead on and protect the lead. Lots of things can get out of control out there, because the course is getting tougher as the week goes on.”

Danny Willett (76)

“It’s disappointing. Again, I played nicely the front nine and let it go on a couple of sloppy golf shots. Again, there were a couple of bad decisions and some missed putts. I’ve just got to control everything better mentally and try to dig deep tomorrow and see if I come good. I played the par fives badly again on the back nine, as I have done all week. They don’t quite fit my eye, 17 especially. On the back nine there are a few draws required and I struggle with a draw.”

Complete round three scores (par 72)

207 S Hend (Aus) 65 69 73,

208 T Hatton (Eng) 72 70 66,

209 Y Yang (Kor) 65 69 75, L Westwood (Eng) 71 70 68,

210 J Van Syl (RSA) 67 68 75, C Wood  (Eng) 72 70 68, J Quesne  (Fra) 69 74 67, T Aiken (RSA) 71 69 70, M Kaymer (Ger) 70 70 70, D Willett  (Eng) 66 68 76,

211 P Hanson (Swe) 70 69 72, R Dinwiddie  (Eng) 70 69 72,

212 N Colsaerts  (Bel) 73 71 68, D Brooks (Eng) 71 70 71, R Cabrera Bello (Esp) 71 68 73, R Wattel  (Fra) 69 73 70, J Luiten (Ned) 65 74 73,

213 J Campillo (Esp) 71 67 75, G Bourdy (Fra) 73 69 71, S Benson (Eng) 70 73 70

214 P Larrazábal (Esp) 71 72 71, S Chawrasia (Ind) 71 73 70, K Aphibarnrat (Tha) 68 71 75, F Zanotti (Par) 72 70 72, F Aguilar (Chi) 69 71 74, G Hutcheon (Sco) 71 73 70, B Hebert  (Fra) 75 69 70,

215 R Karlberg  (Swe) 69 74 72, E De La Riva  (Esp) 69 72 74, R Rock (Eng) 67 73 75, S Jamieson  (Sco) 72 71 72, A Noren  (Swe) 69 73 73, B Wiesberger  (Aut) 76 68 71, T Pieters  (Bel) 71 70 74, B An (Kor) 72 72 71, E Molinari  (Ita) 72 70 73, R Ramsay  (Sao) 71 73 71, G McDowell  (Nir) 69 73 73,

216 L Hooting (Chn) 74 71 71, J Morrison  (Eng) 73 70 73, L Donald  (Eng) 68 72 76, A Sullivan (Eng) 71 73 72, A Johnston (Eng) 76 69 71, S Khan (Eng) 69 73 74, D Drysdale (Sco) 70 73 73, R Green (Aus) 67 73 76, N Holman  (Aus) 72 71 73, D Lingmerth (Swe) 70 71 75,

217 S Webster (Eng) 73 70 74, J Lagergren (Swe) 71 72 74, R Paratore (Ita) 73 72 72, J Lovemark (USA) 71 69 77, M Fitzpatrick  (Eng) 72 70 75, M Siem  (Ger) 71 74 72, T Jaidee (Tha) 70 73 74, J Carlsson (Swe) 71 74 72,

218 J Wang (Kor) 72 73 73, F Molinari (Ita) 72 71 75,

219 D Lipsky (USA) 71 72 76, A Dodt (Aus) 70 75 74, R Bland (Eng) 71 69 79,

220 D Horsey (Eng) 72 71 77, C Lee (Sao) 70 74 76, M Ford (Eng) 70 74 76, T Bjørn (Den) 75 70 75,

222 V Dubuisson  (Fra) 69 74 79,

223 S Lee (Kor) 73 72 78,

224 J Fahrbring (Swe) 73 71 80,

225 T Fleetwood  (Eng) 73 71 81.