Martin takes 3-shot lead at Portugal Masters

Pablo Martin of Spain shot a 9-under 63 Saturday to take a

three-shot lead into the final round of the Portugal Masters.

Martin eagled the third and fifth holes, and added six birdies

to finish his round at the Oceanico Victoria Golf Club at 18-under

198.

”Those eagles were a massive boost to my confidence,” Martin

said. ”It was a little tough out there, but to be 5 under after

five holes I had everything right to make sure I had a good

score.”

Jeppe Huldahl of Denmark grabbed a share of second after

matching Martin Kaymer’s course record with a 61. Huldahl had seven

straight birdies from the 11th hole, equaling a European Tour

record. He was tied with Oliver Wilson of England, who shot a

65.

Thomas Aiken of South Africa shot a 65 and was at 14 under in a

tie for fourth with Mikko Ilonen, who had a 69.

Martin, who won the Dunhill Championship in South Africa on the

European Tour in December, was also in contention going into the

final round of last year’s Portugal Masters.

”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; and I shot a 77.”

Huldahl, who narrowly made the cut at 4 under, surged into the

clubhouse lead after his 61 lowered his previous career-best score

on the tour by five shots. But the Dane said he got less aggressive

toward the end of the round, even though he had a chance of

becoming the first player to shoot a 59 in a European Tour

event.

”Thoughts of shooting a 59 did cross my mind on my second shot

at 17,” said Huldahl, who had 12 birdies and one bogey. ”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. Also the pin at 18 was

very tight. But then there were always other shots to pick up, so I

had a lot of good things happening out there.”

Wilson, who made his Ryder Cup debut at Valhalla in 2008, is

looking for his first win in six years on the European Tour.

He worked as a radio commentator in the Ryder Cup at Celtic

Manor and feels the experience has helped him.

”Working for the radio was good motivation,” Wilson said. ”I

enjoyed doing it, but I would rather be playing. It was hard work

just watching the guys. But now my juices are flowing again.”