Thursday 22 February 2018

Lowry and Harrington both in contention ahead of final round of Portugal Masters

Shane Lowry
Shane Lowry

Phil Casey

Lucas Bjerregaard will take a one-shot lead into the final round of the Portugal Masters as he looks to claim a first individual European Tour title.

Bjerreggard, who partnered Thorbjorn Olesen as Denmark won the inaugural GolfSixes in May, carded a third round of 68 at Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course to finish 14 under par.

Shane Lowry rocketed into contention on Friday after carding a seven under par 64, but he could only manage a one under par round yesterday, leaving him four shots back heading into today's final round.

Padraig Harrington is also in contention, starting his Sunday round six shots behind Bjerregaard.

South Africa's George Coetzee is 13 under after an eagle on the 17th helped him return a 67, with England's Eddie Pepperell, Scotland's Marc Warren and halfway leader Nino Bertasio a shot further back.

Three birdies in the first four holes had given Warren a two-shot lead as he battles to retain his European Tour card, but the 36-year-old found water on the seventh to run up a double bogey and parred the last 11 holes.

Bjerregaard, who began the week ranked 114th on the Race to Dubai, said: "It feels good. It's been a rough year for me so to be in contention again feels really good.

"I played well in Switzerland two weeks ago and I've been seeing my game go in the right direction the last month or so, so to be in contention is great. I'm in a place where I'm still building confidence but it feels good.

"This is what we play for, this is where I want to be. I'm looking forward to tomorrow."

The top 19 on the leaderboard are separated by just five shots.

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