Alex Wrigley lit up Round 03 of the Mercedes-Benz International Pro-Am at Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting & Golf Club in the UAE with a sublime round of 63 (-7), moving him three shots clear at the top of the leaderboard.
The PGA of Great Britain & Ireland Professional shot a bogey-free second round and started the day in joint second, five shots behind overnight leader, Mark Ridley. However, Wrigley soon closed the deficit and pulled clear of his fellow Brit.
“I started off really well being five-under through seven, but then hit a brick wall bogeying nine and struggling for pars,” explained Wrigley. “But then I holed a birdie putt on 12 and made 18 in two and holed the putt for eagle.
“The new layout is great actually compared to last year, it is a different test with a bit more strategy required… I’m getting used to it and today was the best one yet!
“It will be good fun tomorrow… I know Mark [Ridley] very well and we are good friends, and I know Darren [Bragg] as well so we will hopefully have a really good day.”
Wrigley was in tantalising form, shooting five birdies on the front nine to reach the turn in 31 (-4). Another birdie followed on the 12th and he finished his round off with a spectacular eagle on the par-five 18th, to leave him on a three round total of 199 (-11).
His seven-under round of 63 sets a new course record and puts him three shots clear of his closest challenger going into the final round.
In second place is the PGA of GB&I’s Mark Ridley who shot a round of 71 (+1) giving him a total of 202 (-8) for the tournament. Although Ridley struggled to score as freely as he did yesterday, managing only one birdie on the par-four 14th, he is only three-shots back of the leader and well within striking distance.
Darren Bragg (PGA of GB&I) completes the all-British top three after a good two-under round today and is five-under for the tournament. Filip Eriksson (PGA of Sweden) and Chris Gane (PGA of GB&I) are both on four-under and will need very low scores tomorrow to keep themselves in contention.
The team consisting of PGA of Greece Professional, Christos Nikopoulos, and amateurs Nikos Valsamidis, Sungjin Hwang and Moonwon Jo, held on to their lead to win the three-round Team Pro-Am Competition by nine points. The team scored an excellent 93 points (-23) to finish with a total of 268 points (-42).
“I had a great team…we nearly didn’t show up as I only had one amateur, but the guys here found me two excellent amateurs who played great,” said Nikopoulos. “The course was very good and we enjoyed it a lot…the hotel and venue are very good.
“It was my first visit here and it was my first win at a PGAs of Europe event. I will come back and, as I said to the team, this is a winning team so we won’t change it for next year!”
Finishing in second place was the team led by Alex Wrigley (259 points) who scored the best team total of the day with 94 points. Team Nesbit (258) complete the top three with Team Bragg (256) and Team Gane (256) in tie-fourth.
The Team Pro-Am Competition has been a great contest and the Individual Competition is set up perfectly for what promises to be a compelling final round.
To find out more about Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting & Golf Club visit www.aesgc.ae.