An sets early pace at Wentworth
South Korea's Byeong-hun An was hunting down the biggest win of his professional career as the final round of the European PGA Championship got underway at Wentworth on Sunday
Wentworth, United Kingdom: South Korea's Byeong-hun An was hunting down the biggest win of his professional career as the final round of the European PGA Championship got underway at Wentworth on Sunday.
An, the US Amateur winner in 2009, shared the third-round lead with Italy's Francesco Molinari but after three holes of his final round had opened up a one-shot lead over Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee. The 23-year old Korean had a birdie two at the second whilst Molinari, who has led since the first round, dropped a shot at the first. Molinari slipped up when he missed the green with his approach and played a sloppy chip up to 25 feet but An holed a decent four-footer to go a shot ahead.
Thongchai, the first player for Thailand to win on the European Tour, birdied the fourth and fifth holes to get within a shot of An as the pair duelled to make it a memorable week for Asian golf. Englishman Tommy Fleetwood birdied the first and was two shots off the lead after five holes whilst Miguel Angel Jimenez of Spain had reeled off five straight pars to be five behind An.
An is aiming for his first win on the European Tour at the 31st time of asking and would become the first debutant to win this title since Scott Drummond in 2004 if he lands the spoils. Molinari has not won since the Spanish Open in 2012 and a victory here would earn him exemption on the tour until 2019.
England's Andy Sullivan was the best of the early starters and held the clubhouse lead on 281, seven-under par, after shooting a closing 66 whilst Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat signed off with a 69 and a four-round total of 284.
South Africa's Branden Grace was making inroads as he reached the turn in 32, three-under par to lie six shots back where he was joined by last week's Spanish Open winner James Morrison. Morrison started on four-under par but a pair of eagles, on the fourth and the 12 th got him to eight-under with six to play.
But Luke Donald, Lee Westwood and Darren Clarke were finished on 286, two-under par, meaning Donald is likely to stay out of the world's top-50 when the new rankings are announced on Monday. The 2010 US Open champion Graeme McDowell finished his disappointing week on 290, level with South African Ernie Els.