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.