Any hopes Cormac Sharvin housed for a Sunday title charge fell by the wayside on a disappointing moving day outing at the Hero Open.
With the leaders in his sights entering the third day, the Ardglass professional failed to find his best stuff in a one-over par 73 while there was hot scoring all around him at Forest of Arden.
The 27-year old slumped to four bogeys, including one at his last hole and although he had three birdies on the card, Sharvin fell some 25 places down the board to six-under par, eight shots back of Sam Horsfield’s lead.
Sharvin is the only Irishman in the weekend field after Paul Dunne, Gavin Moynihan and Jonathan Caldwell all missed the halfway cut but it’s Horsfield topping the leaderboard as he goes in search of a maiden European Tour title.
Englishman Horsfield takes a one-stroke lead into the final round following a roller-coaster third round 71 having started the day in a share of the lead with Spaniard Sebastian Garcia Rodriguez, but he had moved six shots clear at the turn courtesy of five birdies on the front nine.
The 23-year-old faltered on the way home, however, starting the back nine with a bogey at the tenth and carded his first double-bogey of the week at the 12th. His four over back nine of 40 strokes leaves him a single stroke clear of the chasing pack on 14 under.
Horsfield – who first earned his European Tour card with an eight-stroke victory at Qualifying School in 2017 – is seeking to become the first home player to win this event, formerly known as the English Open, since Lee Westwood in 1998.
“I got off to a good start and then on 10, I don’t know what happened there, then I hit a bad drive down 12 and my timing got a little off, I got a little quick and it got stuck behind me. I felt it on a few shots, but I’m still in a good position for tomorrow”, said Horsfield.
“The double-bogey was just a bad drive and I tried to hit a lot of greens and I just didn’t quite have it on the back nine with my swing. I hit a lot of poor long iron shots on 15 and 17, the one on 17 was horrendous. So I’m going to go to the range and work that out right now.
“My caddie just said to me coming off the 18th green, if someone said to you on Thursday, ‘you’ll have a one-shot lead going into Sunday’ you’d take it. I have made a little bit harder for myself from the position I was in but I’m still looking forward to tomorrow and it’ll be a lot of fun.”
Three players share second place, with Denmark’s Rasmus Højgaard – aiming for a second European Tour victory on the 2020 Race to Dubai – Welshman Oliver Farr and Finland’s Mikko Korhonen all on 13 under par.
Full scoring HERE