Minor moves for Harrington and Kearney at tight Czech Masters

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Padraig Harrington (Photo by Oisin Keniry/Getty Images)

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Padraig Harrington and Niall Kearney each signed for two-under par moving day rounds of 70 to gain a bit of momentum on a tightly packed Czech Masters leaderboard.

Harrington, who was runner-up in the 2018 event, returned his second round of 70 this week, a mix of five birdies and three dropped shots, two of which came in his final three holes. At five-under par, Harrington had moved 10 places up the leaderboard to a tie for 19th, three shots clear of the next best Irishman, Kearney, looking to make the most of the weekend having made the cut on the number at even par.

After starting with a bogey ‘6’, the Royal Dublin professional recovered with three birdies in his next five holes but it was all pars from there; Kearney in a tie for 45th at two-under.

Gavin Moynihan completed the Irish scoring at six-over par after a disappointing 79 on Saturday.

Tapio Pulkkanen will take a two-stroke lead into the final round as he aims to secure a maiden European Tour title. The Finn, who was European Challenge Tour Number One in 2017, carded a six under par round of 66 at Albatross Golf Resort to move to 13 under par, two shots clear of Americans Sean Crocker and Johannes Veerman and 2016 Open Champion Henrik Stenson.

After three birdies on his front nine, Pulkkanen shared the lead at the turn but pulled clear with gains at the 11th, 13th and 16th holes. He recovered from a bogey on 17th on the closing hole, firing his approach to three feet and tapping in for his seventh birdie of the day.

Crocker and Veerman are also in search of their first European Tour victories, while Stenson will bid for his 12th title and first win since claiming his maiden Major Championship at Royal Troon five years ago.

Paul Peterson, winner of this event in 2016, makes up the top five on ten under par after his four under round of 68.

Due to the threat of thunderstorms in the Czech capital on Sunday afternoon, the final round of the D+D REAL Czech Masters will be a two-tee start U-draw, beginning at 07:00 local time.

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