Martin leads in Portugal; Harrington eyes first victory since U.S. PGA

Spain’s Pablo Martin will take a three shot lead going into the
final round of the Portugal
Masters at Vilamoura after posting a
stunning third round 63.

Martin’s round included two eagles — at the third and fifth
holes — and five birdies. But it wasn’t the best round of the
day.

That honor went to Denmark’s Jeppe Huldahl who shot an
incredible 11-under par 61 leaving him tied for second place with
England’s Owen Wilson who finished the day with a round of 65.

The Dane’s round included a run of seven straight birdies —
which equals the European Tour record — and 12 in total.

Afterwards, the 28-year-old admitted that he had thought about
trying to become the first player to score a 59 on the European
Tour.

“Thoughts of shooting a 59 did cross my mind on my second shot
at 17. But I chickened out in the end because the pin at the 17th
was in a very tight position and I missed the green left.” Huldahl
said, BBC Sport reported.

Tournament leader Martin was in contention at the same stage
last year but fell away with a final round 77.

“I will try to play better than I did last year,” Martin said.
“I was playing with Lee Westwood in the fourth round who went on to
win,” Martin said, BBC Sport reported.

Ryder Cup players Ross Fisher and Miguel Angel Jimenez are just
about in contention heading into the final round. Fisher is seven
shots off Martin’s pace on 11-under, while the Spaniard is two
shots further back on nine-under.

The Molinari brothers had a disappointing day. Edoardo is
currently in a tie for 49th place on seven-under par after posting
a round of 70, while Francesco is a shot further adrift — his fine
second round 62 has been canceled out by two rounds of 74 — in a
tie for 54th place.

Meanwhile in Malaysia, Padraig Harrington is closing in on what
would be his first victory for two years at the Johor Open.

The Irishman currently leads by five strokes going into the
final round despite being restricted by a neck injury.

“If I wasn’t leading, I would have definitely pulled out,”
Harrington said, BBC Sport reported.

The three-time major winner hasn’t won since securing U.S. PGA
title back in 2008.

Harrington’s nearest challengers are second-placed Lin Wen-tang
of Taiwan, who shot an even-par 72 on Saturday. Singapore’s Mardan
Mamat lies third after a two-under par 70.

South Korea’s Noh Seung-yul (who posted a third round 71) and
Thai Kiradech Aphibarnrat (69) are currently in a tie for
fourth.

Europe’s victorious Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie finished
the day in a share for seventh place after shooting his best round
of the year. A four-under par 68 leaves him tied on seven-under par
with defending champion K.J. Choi.