Omega European Masters 2017: Scott Hend Holds Lead After Saturday Action

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistSeptember 9, 2017

CRANS-MONTANA, SWITZERLAND - SEPTEMBER 09:  Scott Hend of Australai plays a shot on the seventh hole during the third round of the Omega European Masters at Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club on September 9, 2017 in Crans-Montana, Switzerland.  (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

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.

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:

He sprinkled in a few other brilliant moments as well:

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:

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.

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