By Aaron Murphy
Jonathan Caldwell. Photo by Golffile
Jonathan Caldwell carded a two under par 70 to sit in a tie for 10th place and lies three shots behind the leaders heading into the final day at the 2021 Scandinavian Mixed Hosted by Henrik and Annika.
The Clandeboye man briefly shared the lead after picking up five birdies over the first ten holes. A double-bogey on the par-4 13th was followed by a birdie on the par-5 16th but bogeys on 17 and 18 put a dent in maiden title ambitions.
He finished the day at nine under par alongside Dane Joachim B. Hansen, Finn Sanna Nuutinen and England's Oliver Wilson.
The week started with 78 men and 78 women competing over the same course for the same trophy in a European Tour first and with 18 holes to go, it was still honours even between the sexes in the battle for victory and a place in the history books.
Overnight leader Caroline Hedwall fired a 73 to get to 12 under alongside fellow Ladies European Tour player Alice Hewson, who birdied three of her last four holes in a 69.
The duo joined Welshman Rhys Enoch and Australian Jason Scrivener at the top, after the early starting duo had taken advantage of the slightly calmer conditions on a very windy day to card a pair of 66s.
English pair Ashley Chesters and James Morrison, Scot David Drysdale, Australian Scott Hend and Spaniard Adrian Otaegui were then at 11 under, with 26 players within five shots of the lead.
Home favourite Hedwall started the day with a one shot lead and while she twice extended that advantage to two despite a bogey bogey start, a double bogey on the 17th left the event wide open.
Caroline Hedwall. Photo by Getty Images
"I didn’t feel any pressure," she said. "It is tough conditions and anything can happen. I think I handled it really well and I had a bad start but fought back and I’m really proud of myself for keeping on fighting. I’m quite happy, 73 is not a bad score in these conditions, but with the finish that I had I’m not that happy right now. It feels good to still be up there and I’m looking forward to tomorrow."
Hewson will also have the chance to become the European Tour's first female winner and the Englishwoman was taking it all in her stride.
“It was a lot of fun out there!" she said. "It was really really tough, it has been windy all day and I got off to a bit of a slow start, so I’m really happy. I think tomorrow I will probably be a bit nervous especially on the first tee. We will try to stay relaxed and just one shot at a time and whatever happens happens.”
Scrivener is seventh in the Race to Dubai Rankings in Partnership with Rolex after a career best second at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship and he is delighted to have another shot at a first European Tour win.
"I love the golf course and I’m starting to get a handle on it, so another good opportunity to win a golf tournament," he said. "It’s been great. It has been really cool to compete against the girls and hopefully the guys can come out on top."
Enoch is also searching for first win and he is looking to maintain momentum after rounds of 71-67-66.
"I think more of the same tomorrow, I learnt a bit today about how I have been playing and I try a bit too hard sometimes," he said. "On days like this when you have to swing free, it just shows what’s there and I just need to go out there with the same attitude tomorrow."
Hedwall got in trouble down the right on the first and three putted from a long way off the back of the second for a bogey bogey start.
She set up a tap-in birdie on the third but three putted the fifth and there was a five way tie for the lead.
Jason Scrivener. Photo by Getty Images
One of the players in that tie was Scrivener, who put a stunning second to four feet to eagle the tenth - his first hole of the day - and then holed a 50 footer on the 13th before putting an approach to six feet on the next.
A 20 footer on the third was followed by a two putt birdie on the par five fourth and when he repeated the trick on the sixth, he held the solo lead at 13 under.
Hedwall made a two putt birdie of her own at the sixth to get within one and she holed a 15 footer on the ninth to share the lead as she made the turn.
A Scrivener three putt on the eighth put her in the lead and she was two ahead after getting up and down from the sand on the tenth, a feat she could not replicate on the next as the advantage came back to one.
A wonderful approach to three feet on the next then restored her cushion but she found water off the tee on the 17th and the resulting double bogey meant we had a four way tie.
Enoch took advantage of the par five tenth but dropped shots on the 11th and 13th before hitting a stunning tee shot into the 15th and recovering from a poor one at the 18th to turn in 35.
An excellent approach to the third was followed by an up and down from the sand on the fourth and an eagle from 20 feet on the sixth put the 32-year-old right in the mix. He then drove the ninth and two putts had him at 12 under.
Hewson was level par for her round after 14 holes with three birdies and three bogeys but a blistering finish catapulted her up the leaderboard.
The 23-year-old put a tee shot to five feet at the 15th, holed a ten footer on the next and then put an approach to similar range on the 17th.
Hend had shared the lead at one point during his 69, while Otaegui carded a 66, Morrison registered a 68, and Chesters and Drysdale both signed for rounds of 70.
The stage is now set for a grandstand finish at Vallda Golf and Country Club.