Foggy conditions forced a postponement in play Saturday at the Omega European Masters in Crans-Montana, Switzerland, and darkness cut the third round short, but that didn't keep Scott Hend from remaining atop the leaderboard.
Play suspended due to fading light 🌅 Round 3️⃣ - 8:00am Round 4️⃣ - 9:55am #OEM2017 https://t.co/bgugiSJROK2017-9-9 17:42:20
The leader after Friday's play wasn't at his best Saturday, shooting two-over through 13 holes, but he remained 11-under for the tournament and two strokes ahead of Matthew Fitzpatrick, Fabrizio Zanotti and Darren Fichardt.
Six players—Marcus Fraser, Lucas Bjerregaard, Dean Burmester, Richard Sterne, Alexander Bjork and Thongchai Jaidee—were in striking distance at three strokes back.
Among the players who finished their rounds Saturday, Rikard Karlberg made the biggest move up the leaderboard, shooting 5-under for the day to move to 6-under for the tourney.
Defending champion Alex Noren, meanwhile, was six strokes off the lead after shooting a 68 on Saturday.
As for Hend, his day started well, as he birdied No. 1. But bogeys on Nos. 4, 8, 11 and 12 left him in danger of dropping out of the lead.
He recovered on No. 13, however, finishing as he started:
The European Tour @EuropeanTour
Perfect timing ⏰ Hend makes a fine birdie at 13 before the hooter goes. https://t.co/vgvV9sLRel2017-9-9 17:26:49
He sprinkled in a few other brilliant moments as well:
🌲⛳️ @hendygolf through the trees to two foot on the green #OEM2017 https://t.co/4JiO1zln2l2017-9-9 17:19:41
The conditions likely played a part in Hend's disappointing day, and he wasn't alone, as none of the players in his group shot below par. Fichardt struggled in particular, shooting 3-over.
Indeed, the weather was the day's main storyline, as a dense fog settled over the Crans-sur-Sierre course:
Play suspended due to fog 🌫 #OEM2017 https://t.co/7LYPeAP3IW2017-9-9 12:42:33
But that set up a fascinating day of golf for Sunday. Hend will have 23 holes to secure the title, with a slew of contenders breathing down his neck. Weather permitting, the Omega European Masters should provide plenty of drama on its final day.