In the world of golf, the third and penultimate round is often referred to as “Moving Day”, as the players strive to make progress up the leaderboard and play their way into contention ahead of Sunday’s final round. While Englishmen Jordan Smith (-13) and Matt Fitzpatrick (-12, T2), and Austrian Matthias Schwab (AUT, -12, T2) enjoyed a particularly successful day in this regard, Martin Kaymer found himself heading in the other direction. However, despite being five shots off the lead, Germany’s top golfer has still not given up hope of a second BMW International Open title.
Kaymer had to wait until the 16th hole for his first and only birdie in a round of 75 that saw him drop back to eleventh place. Whilst a five-shot deficit is by no means insurmountable on the final day, the two-time major winner will have to putt as well on Sunday as he did in the opening two rounds.
“I played similarly to the first two days, but the putts simply didn’t drop. You get days like that in golf. You have to stay calm and try not to play your way out of the tournament,” said the 34-year-old. “I am only five shots off the lead, so it is not an absolute nightmare. If I have a similar day tomorrow to the first two rounds then I might be able to make those ahead of me a little bit nervous.”
Smith (-6 for the round), Fitzpatrick and Schwab (-7) demonstrated emphatically what is possible on any given day. With the wind stronger than on the previous days, and the greens softer and therefore easier following the rain, the trio hit birdie after birdie to move to the top of the leaderboard.
“I have driven very well this week and hardly missed a fairway. That is the key when the greens are as hard as they were for the first two rounds. Today, the greens were very soft, which meant that you could attack them,” said Smith. “I really had my game under control today and feel right at home here in Germany.”
Like Kaymer, defending champion Matt Wallace (ENG, -11, T4) and Lee Westwood (ENG, -10, T6), the 2003 BMW International Open winner, are still in with a chance of winning their second title at Germany’s most iconic tournament.
With the exception of BMW Friend of the Brand Max Kieffer (-6), who climbed into a tie for 19th place, the remaining Germans who made the cut were unable to make up any ground on Saturday. Like Kaymer, Max Schmitt (-5, T24), Dominic Foos (-2, T46) and Marcel Schneider (even par, T60) will be hoping for a better Sunday.