Tournament: Mallorca Golf Open
DP World Tour Rankings: Tournament 40 of 43 events
Venue: Son Muntaner Golf Club, Palma, Mallorca, Spain
Prize Fund: €3,000,000
Hashtag: #MGO2022 #DPWT
Day Three Report
Ryan Fox is aiming to become the first three-time winner of the 2022 DP World Tour season after the Kiwi moved into a share of the lead heading into the final round of the Mallorca Golf Open.
The World Number 25 has been on superlative form this year, with wins at the Ras Al Khaimah Classic in February and at this month’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, while he boasts two further runner-up finishes at the Horizon Irish Open and Dutch Open along with a third place finish at the BMW International Open.
A fourth career win at Son Muntaner Golf Club this week would see him overtake Matt Fitzpatrick in second place in the DP World Tour Rankings and move him closer to leader Rory McIlroy, as Fox attempts to become the first New Zealander to win the Rankings in the Tour’s 50-year history.
A six under 65 comprised six birdies and meant he has gone bogey-free for 53 holes, having opened the tournament with a bogey at the first hole. He joined Yannick Paul at the summit, the German having carded three eagles in the opening 11 holes to threaten a potential 59, but he signed for a stunning 62 to join Fox on 16 under par.
English duo Marcus Armitage and Dale Whitnell were two shots off the pace in a share of third after rounds of 63 and 68, respectively, while their compatriot Richard Mansell set a new course record courtesy of a ten under 61 to move to 13 under par in outright fifth.
Ryan Fox: “It was really solid, I probably only hit two bad shots, the tee shot on one and the tee shot on 14. I gave myself plenty of chances again, maybe felt like I left a couple out there but also made a few as well so it’s always good to bogey free again, it’s probably a record for me bogey-free. Hopefully I can continue that tomorrow.
“I think when you see the wind down like it is today, the greens are soft are rolling and pretty nice, you know you’ve got to make birdies. If you can keep it out of the rough you’ll get lot of chances around here, lots of wedges and the par fives are gettable ands luckily I did today, gave myself a lot of chances and capitalised on enough of them and I’m in a good position tomorrow.
“I always look at the leaderboard, I know every shot my playing partners have hit, and I just notice all of that stuff. I’ll be doing that tomorrow and it hasn’t affected me too much throughout my career or this year so I won’t be doing anything different in that regard.
“Obviously I’d like to get closer to Rory and give him a bit of a run, but it would be nice going into Dubai knowing I hold it in my own hands – if I win that event I could probably win thr Rankings. It’s certainly not a position I didn’t expect to be in at the start of the year and I’ll treat this one and Nedbank with trying to get as close as possible to Rory because I don’t think he’s playing Nedbank, and make it more interesting.
“Regardless I’m pretty happy to be where I am and tomorrow I’ll just go out and do what I’ve done all year, try and beat the golf course and see what happens.”
Yannick Paul: “It was obviously really good, I had three eagles today and that’s obviously a special day. Once I made that eagle on 11, I thought maybe I can shoot 59 today and I played well after that but the putts just didn’t drop. But overall I’m very happy with my round.
“I do a lot of meditation so I was trying to stay in the moment, you sometimes catch yourself drifting off so I was just trying to focus on my breathing, stay in the moment and just try to enjoy it and it worked pretty well.
“It would be amazing to win, my girlfriend is here this week so I’m just trying to have a great week. It’s my sixth week in a row so I’m just trying to enjoy it and see where I end up tomorrow.”
Marcus Armitage: “I hit a lot more fairways today, a little bit more patient believe it or now. I tried chasing it yesterday after a poor start but I’ve pulled it back. I’m just as proud of yesterday, with the finish after the first four holes, as I am today or the first day. That’s golf and hopefully I’ll better what I did yesterday tomorrow.
“I just need to not try and push or edge it too much, I’m one of those golfers that just wants to edge a bit closer on every hole and take a bit more club to get me closer to flags which is alright if it comes off like today but on your bad days you can be in a bit of trouble. I’ll just try and do like I did today and see what happens.”
Dale Whitnell: “It was a pretty tricky start, I didn’t hit any good shots to start with but my short game was on fire so I managed to get good up and downs when I needed them. Then I hit nine greens on the back nine and made three birdies.
“It’s the first time I’ve had a solo overnight lead through 36 holes, but I got the draw with Rasmus and Foxy and I got on well with both and it was good fun out there.
“I’m glad I did the low one yesterday because it’s hard to back up a really low one but I think if I can shoot anything in the mid-60s or high-60s is probably going to be good with the wind forecast to be a bit stronger.”
Richard Mansell: “I made a really good up and down on one and then on the front nine I shot two under, and was probably doing well to be two under. I made a couple of good up and downs on eight and nine. Hole eight has just had me all week, I haven’t figured that one out yet.
“The back nine I was just on fire, eight under for the back nine. You don’t often get into a flow in golf but on the back nine I was today. My caddie and I had a €50 bet to try and get to minus eight for the day. I think we might start making those bets a bit more often because obviously it was good to try and chase it and I just kept going. I won the bet so I’m hoping he pays for dinner tonight.
“If you asked me coming off the eighth green, I wanted to walk in, but I’ve been working hard with my psychologist recently. That first round was one that I was very proud of, because in the past I might have gone the other way.
“To come back and play the way I did – yesterday I didn’t play great either but we just stuck at it and to get rewarded and play a really good round of golf today felt good. It’s nice to see that the work I’m doing is paying off.
“The final round of the Dunhill Links took a little bit of time to get over, but I went back to my psychologist after that. I felt like I was getting myself into positions a lot and I just hadn’t got the processes to deal with being in that position.
“I know my golf game is good enough to do it, but it’s more just about making Richard Mansell outside of golf a little happier, not just as a golfer. I’ve been really enjoying the week and so far there’s not a lot to not be happy about.”
Round Three scores:
197 Y PAUL (GER) 71 64 62, R FOX (NZL) 68 64 65,
199 M ARMITAGE (ENG) 63 73 63, D WHITNELL (ENG) 68 63 68,
200 R MANSELL (ENG) 69 70 61,
201 N HOJGAARD (DEN) 68 69 64, N VON DELLINGSHAUSEN (GER) 71 66 64, J JANEWATTANANOND (THA) 66 69 66,
202 C SYME (SCO) 67 72 63, R PARATORE (ITA) 70 69 63, D VAN DRIEL (NED) 71 66 65, H LONG (GER) 67 69 66, L NEMECZ (AUT) 65 70 67, R H?JGAARD (DEN) 65 69 68,
203 A SULLIVAN (ENG) 69 68 66,
204 E FERGUSON (SCO) 69 70 65, M WARREN (SCO) 67 70 67, R RAMSAY (SCO) 68 69 67, D HUIZING (NED) 64 73 67, J WINTHER (DEN) 67 69 68, P WARING (ENG) 70 66 68, H LEON (CHI) 70 64 70,
205 G GREEN (MAS) 66 69 70, A CA?IZARES (ESP) 65 70 70,
206 F ZANOTTI (PAR) 68 72 66, A CHESTERS (ENG) 71 68 67, J VEERMAN (USA) 69 69 68, M SCHNEIDER (GER) 69 68 69, M KIEFFER (GER) 68 66 72,
207 R CABRERA BELLO (ESP) 71 69 67, B STONE (RSA) 69 71 67, T LEWIS (ENG) 71 69 67, J CALDWELL (NIR) 73 67 67, L DE JAGER (RSA) 71 68 68, S HEND (AUS) 70 69 68, S BROWN (ENG) 68 70 69, J WALTERS (RSA) 68 70 69, M SOUTHGATE (ENG) 68 70 69, E PEPPERELL (ENG) 73 65 69, C HANNA (USA) 72 66 69, M LORENZO-VERA (FRA) 67 70 70, J LUITEN (NED) 67 70 70,
208 C WOOD (ENG) 70 71 67, R GOUVEIA (POR) 67 74 67, D VAN TONDER (RSA) 69 71 68, A GARCIA-HEREDIA (ESP) 69 71 68, G FORREST (SCO) 70 69 69, J SENIOR (ENG) 70 69 69, A WU (CHN) 70 68 70, A COCKERILL (CAN) 68 70 70, L GAGLI (ITA) 68 69 71,
209 J BRUN (FRA) 68 73 68, K APHIBARNRAT (THA) 69 71 69, A QUIROS (ESP) 69 70 70, D DRYSDALE (SCO) 69 69 71,
210 S SODERBERG (SWE) 71 70 69, P ANGLES (ESP) 70 71 69, A OTAEGUI (ESP) 70 71 69, R STERNE (RSA) 74 66 70, E KOFSTAD (NOR) 68 72 70, M KAWAMURA (JPN) 70 70 70, S JAMIESON (SCO) 69 71 70, N LEMKE (SWE) 71 68 71,
211 M ANTCLIFF (AUS) 71 70 70, R SANTOS (POR) 70 71 70, G BOURDY (FRA) 69 71 71, S SHARMA (IND) 69 69 73,
212 S GARCIA RODRIGUEZ (ESP) 70 71 71, M JORDAN (ENG) 70 70 72, R ROUSSEL (FRA) 70 70 72, S TARRIO (ESP) 74 66 72,
213 A HIDALGO (ESP) 72 69 72, D FICHARDT (RSA) 66 74 73,
216 D HOWELL (ENG) 71 70 75,