Halfway leader Larrazabal in a three-way tie with Otaegui and Nienaber for fourth    



England’s Matthew Jordan and Poland’s Adrian Meronk overcame extremely difficult conditions to head into the final round of the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters in a share of the lead Saturday.
Jordan and Meronk battled the strong winds at the Doha Golf Club (DGC) to open a one-stroke lead on eight-under-par, one shot clear of Finland’s Kalle Samooja, who took advantage of his early tee time with a six-under-par round of 66, the low round of day three before the wind picked up in the afternoon.
The 26-year-old Jordan showed mental toughness to post a two-under-par round of 70 which included a stunning five-under-par back nine, while Poland’s Meronk birdied two of the final four holes to card a level par round of 72 and join the Englishman at the top of the leaderboard.
Jordan started the day with three bogeys and no birdies on the front nine, but he got reward for his patience after the turn, with five birdies taking him home in 31 as he signed for a 70. “I found the front nine probably tougher, maybe – a couple less chances anyway,” said Jordan.
The Englishman made birdie at the 15th when the flag somehow trapped his long, speedy putt in the hole, and he followed that up with another on the 16th to grab a share of the lead. He took the outright lead with a six-foot birdie on the last before being joined by Meronk afterwards.
“I wasn’t doing too much wrong, I just couldn’t get up and down, couldn’t hit fairways great, it just wasn’t quite happening – but I knew I wasn’t that far off. I just kept going and fortunately enough it all started to click. It was stressful. How can it not be? It’s just hard work, hard grind the whole time. The simple shots are really tough. So it was stressful but it’s always very rewarding when you do well,” said the World No. 282.
Meronk also had a round of ups and downs, but he closed the third round at par with a birdie at the last hole and was delighted. “I’m very pleased to be honest,” said Meronk. “It was super tough. I knew it was going to be tough, it was a grinding day but I’m very satisfied with the result and looking forward to tomorrow,” the 28-year-old Pole, who is looking for his first win on the circuit, added.
Meronk, who finished tied 6th at the Ras Al Khaimah Classic last month, started with bogeys on the first, fifth and seventh but made amends with a chip-in birdie from a difficult lie at the eighth before getting another shot back on the ninth. He then mixed two more birdies with two bogeys over the next six holes before finishing his round with a close-range birdie to grab a share of the lead.
“You have to stay patient. You’re going to hit some bad shots, some really bad shots, and you just have to accept it and stay patient. I was very patient. I knew I was going to make some bogeys but I just kept going, kept hitting good shots and I’m glad I did,” Meronk said.
Meronk won the Qatar Open’s professional category title in 2020 here and now he is looking forward for another big day tomorrow at the DGC. “Yes, I have happy memories on this golf course. It was kind of the beginning of my professional career. I like coming here and it’s one of my favourite spots. I am very excited as I am in a great position and looking forward to the final round,” he said.
Halfway leader Pablo Larrazabal of Spain is in a three-way tie with fellow Spaniard Adrian Otaegui and South Africa’s Wilco Nienaber for fourth on six under after following up a spotless front nine with a back-nine 40 which contained five bogeys.
Samooja had a double bogey on the par-4 second hole but added eight birdies in the day’s best round. “It was almost a perfect round. I just lost my ball in a palm tree on the second hole and made a double but otherwise I played really, really good golf,” Samooja said.


(GBR/IRL unless stated, Par 72)

208-Adrian Meronk (POL) 66-70-72, Matthew Jordan 69-69-70

209-Kalle Samooja (FIN) 74-69-66
210-Pablo Larrazabal (ESP) 64-71-75, Adrian Otaegui (ESP) 70-70-70, Wilco Nienaber (RSA) 68-68-74
211-Edoardo Molinari (ITA) 69-70-72, Ewen Ferguson 67-71-73, Chase Hanna (USA) 70-66-75, Niklas Noergaard Moeller (DEN) 71-72-68
212-Marcus Kinhult (SWE) 74-65-73, Jonathan Caldwell 71-70-71, Wil Besseling (NED) 71-71-70, Romain Langasque (FRA) 66-71-75, Nicolai von Dellingshausen (GER) 76-68-68, Lukas Nemecz (AUT) 71-67-74, Oliver Wilson 71-70-71, Zander Lombard (RSA) 68-72-72.
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