Sterne highest placed South African in Ireland

The Irish Open - Day ThreeRichard Sterne returned to The K Club early on Sunday morning in order to complete his weather delayed third round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory McIlroy Foundation.

Sterne finished birdie-bogey-par and it was enough for him to finish on five-under-par for the tournament in a share of third place.

Speaking after his third round delay on Saturday evening, Sterne said, “Yeah I’m very happy. It’s a big tournament and I’ve been off for a couple weeks and it’s nice to come here and put myself in a decent position.”

Battling back after a poor start to the tournament, Sterne finds himself as the highest placed South African on the leaderboard, one stroke ahead of Jaco Van Zyl.

“Yesterday I just got off to a bad start and was three-over after five holes. It was a fight all day but I got it back, which was important, and today I got off to a good start. I made a couple nice putts and hit some good shots and that kind of takes the pressure off,” explained Sterne.

A six-time European Tour winner, Sterne has had his fair share of injury problems, and he says he is happy to back contending on tour.

“It’s been a long time since I’ve really been in contention – too few times to be honest. I’m starting to hit the ball better and I’m getting through all the injuries I’ve had and I’m starting to feel a bit better about my game,” he said.

“It was unfortunate. I came back after my back injuries and got into the top 50 in the world, and then I tore my cartilage in my hip and had to have surgery there. That’s really taken its toll and I got into to some bad habits that took a long time to get through and eventually, now I’m starting to get through them and understand what was wrong,” he added.

In his off time, Sterne has taken full advantage of the beautiful surroundings at The K Club, trout finishing till the late evening hours.

“ I’m looking forward to the weekend and hopefully the weather is not too bad. I’d like it to clear up a bit so I can go catch some nice trout at the K Club – it’s a fantastic place to catch trout,” he said.

“I’ve been twice in the evenings till about 21:30 – freezing – but I’m catching the trout which is nice. I’ve got some nice browns and some rainbows which is always fun,” he added.

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