Q-School finish gives McGuigan the edge in Zambia

Doug McGuigan’s first-place finish in stage one of European Tour Qualifying School in Portugal gave him confidence, which he showed when he shot 66 in round three of the KCM Zambia Open on Saturday.

McGuigan carded 33 on either side of the turn at Nchanga Golf Club for a tournament score of 13-under-par and a one-stroke lead over Bradford Vaughan and Robert Wiederkehr.

“I think coming first in stage one European Tour Q-School gave me a lot of confidence, and today I made no mistakes,” said McGuigan.

He began his charge with an eagle at the 462-metre par-five fifth, and continued to capitalise on the long holes, carding birdie at the seventh.

McGuigan made the turn at three-under after struggling off the tee. “I haven’t been that comfortable with my driver, but I was able to make fairways today and my short game has been on form,” he said.

He carded his second birdie at the 13th, an uphill par-five with a tricky roll to the green, and followed it with a couple of pars on the 14th and 15th.

At the 16th, a 405-metre par-four, which has a fairway that slopes downhill and a slightly raised green, he landed his second shot eight feet from the pin. He sank it and went to five-under for the day.

At the 18th, a flat, 351-metre par-four that offers ample birdie opportunities, McGuigan made it to 10 feet from the pin in two strokes. He sank the birdie putt to close at six-under for the day.

Wiederkehr went round in 67 and Vaughan in 69 to edge ahead of Jean Hugo at 12-under-par. Hugo, who shot 66 yesterday, carded a decent 69 for his fourth position at 11-under ahead of the final round.

McGuigan said, “I do not want to aim for a score tomorrow, I’m just going to go out there and try to shoot another good round.”

If he does that, the competition may not be able to catch him.

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