Wiesberger aims to impress
The Ryder Cup may still be more than a year away, but Austria's Bernd Wiesberger has already caught the eye of European captain Paul McGinley.
And the 27-year-old will be hoping to impress McGinley yet further with victory in the Johnnie Walker Championship this weekend, on the Centenary Course at Gleneagles which will host the biennial contest next September.
Wiesberger went into today's third round just one shot behind leader Ricardo Gonzalez on 13 under par and confident of maintaining such low scoring in the final two rounds.
Asked if he would accept 22 under par as a winning total, Wiesberger said: "No, I can go lower than that. Another two 66s should be enough but you never know what the weather is going to do."
Wiesberger lost out in a five-man play-off here two years ago but won twice last season and impressed McGinley when they were paired together in the final round of the Scottish Open at Castle Stuart in July.
"Afterwards he said he was very happy with my game and thinks I can play myself into the team. That's something I really enjoyed hearing," said Wiesberger, who would be the first Austrian to play in the Ryder Cup.
"It's good that I have my name up there and even though qualifying has not started yet [it begins in Wales next week], it's important to play well at the Ryder Cup venue and make a statement that way."
McGinley has also been impressed with Ireland's Shane Lowry after playing alongside him over the first two days, Lowry carding rounds of 68 and 70 to lie six under, one ahead of McGinley.
"I've never seen such a demonstration of driving before," McGinley said. "Every drive was hit 325 yards and straight down the middle. It was phenomenal.
"He was 40 yards past me every time and we were playing with Danny Willett, who is a long hitter as well, and he was 20 yards past Danny."
Halfway leader Gonzalez has not played since failing to qualify for the Open Championship in June but arrived in Scotland refreshed after five weeks back at home in Rosario - birthplace of football star Lionel Messi - where he has a farm.
"It's a very important week for me because I have not played well at the start of the season," added Gonzalez, who has won four times on the European Tour but failed to record a top-10 finish yet this season.
"To shoot two rounds of 65 is amazing. I had five weeks' rest to recharge my batteries.
"It's strange because I'm a professional golfer and I need competition, but I'm feeling great after five weeks off. It has made me more relaxed and I think that's the key to making a good score."