Local favorite Luiten eyes KLM Open win

The Sports NetworkSeptember 13, 2013 

Joost Luiten shot 4-under-par 66 in inclement conditions on Saturday to take a 1-stroke lead into the final round of the KLM Open.

Luiten, who is aiming to become the first Dutchman to win this tournament since 2003, sits at 10-under-par 200 through 54 holes at Kennemer Golf & Country Club.

"You knew it was going to be very tough, par was a pretty good score," said Luiten. "If you said I would make par before we started I would probably have signed for it so 4-under is even better and I am pretty happy."

Overnight co-leader Miguel Angel Jimenez managed an even-par 70 in the wet and windy conditions, dropping into solo second at 9-under 201 in the process.

Julien Quesne (70) and Damien McGrane (67) share third place at 8-under 202, Simon Dyson (71) and Oliver Fisher (71) are tied for fifth at 7-under, and Robert Allenby (68) and Hennie Otto (69) are knotted in seventh at minus-6.

"Some of the holes are brutal, especially on the front nine, and when I weathered as far as number six I knew it would get a little easier," said McGrane, whose lone European Tour win came at the 2008 Volvo China Open. "I've been showing reasonable form so I am looking forward to getting to this time tomorrow evening and see what it brings."

Pablo Larrazabal shared the second-round lead with his compatriot Jimenez, but the Spaniard struggled to a 7-over 77 and dropped into a tie for 28th at 2- under.

Luiten, who won the Lyoness Open in Austria in June, began Saturday's round three strokes off the lead and bogeyed the first before recovering with a chip-in birdie at the sixth. The 27-year-old then moved into contention with three birdies in a four-hole span from the ninth.

After tripping to bogey at the 13th, Luiten closed in style, grabbing a share of the lead with another chip-in birdie at the 16th, then draining a 40-footer at the 17th to move in front at 10-under. He parred the last to stay there.

"I am just trying to enjoy it, it's great to see all the people out there even when it's raining and a day like this," he said. "You know everyone is behind you and you just try to play as good as you can and that's what I am trying to do."

Jimenez, the oldest winner in European Tour history, played steady despite the challenging conditions, mixing one birdie and one bogey with his 16 pars to stay in the mix.

NOTES: The last home winner of this event was Maarten Lafeber in 2003. With that victory, Lafeber became the first home player to capture the Dutch Open since Joop Ruhl in 1947 ... Luiten is a two-time European Tour winner, with his other victory coming at the 2011 Iskandar Johor Open ... Jimenez became the oldest winner in European Tour history when he captured the Hong Kong Open title in 2012 at the age of 48 years and 318 days.

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