Moving day reverse for Irish hopefuls as Pepperell leads British Masters

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Moving day reverse for Irish hopefuls as Pepperell leads British Masters

Paul Dunne (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

All three Irish hopefuls carded over par moving day efforts as hopes of big weeks faded on day three of the British Masters at The Belfry.

Paul Dunne looks set to top the Irish scoring charts this week in Sutton despite a disappointing one-over par 73 on Friday. The Greystones swinger posted three birdies and four birdies, failing to gather momentum and dropping seven strokes behind the leaders.

It was a similar story for Ardglass professional Cormac Sharvin who promised plenty early doors having got to two-under through five holes before a double-bogey at the sixth knocked the wind out of the 28-year old’s sails. Sharvin posed a 73 to drop to one-over par, just inside the top-60 and eight strokes clear of Clandeboye’s Jonathan Caldwell who signed for an 80 on a day to forget.

Eddie Pepperell will bid to win the British Masters hosted by Danny Willett for a second time as he takes a one stroke lead into the final round at The Belfry. The Englishman, who won this title in 2018 at Walton Heath, carded a four-under par round of 68 on the Brabazon Course to sign for a ten-under par total, one stroke ahead of a packed leaderboard which includes six players in a share of second place.

“It was pretty quick, downhill, left to right,” Pepperell said of his final hole birdie that gave him his one stroke lead. “I had a great feel from long range today and I trusted that. It was one of those putts. I holed a great one on 14.

“I’ve been using a device for my putting called a Capto, which has been really about acceleration in the stroke. I use it a lot from 40 ft, so what I’ve did well today, and indeed this week, has been about trusting the feel I get from it. I’m hoping to see it carry over a bit to mid-range, but long putts have been fantastic.”

Of those contending, Italy’s Edoardo Molinari carded the lowest round of the tournament thus far, an eight-under par 64, to move to nine under. He was joined on that number by compatriot Guido Migliozzi as the pair look to keep the title in Italian hands after Renato Paratore’s victory at Close House last year.

Also on nine under are the Scottish duo of Calum Hill and Robert MacIntyre, and South Africa’s Dean Burmester and Adrian Meronk of Poland, who both carded seven under par rounds of 65.

Tournament host Danny Willett is just three strokes behind Pepperell after a third round of 68 which included seven birdies, recording five on his first six holes. For each birdie Willett makes this week, tournament title sponsor Betfred will donate £1,000 directly to Prostate Cancer UK, the 2016 Masters Champion’s choice of official charity, also pledging to donate £2,000 for every eagle Willett makes. So far, the 33-year-old has raised £16,000 after 16 birdies across his first three rounds.

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