Lowry in strong position as Sergio sizzles in Valderrama

Shane Lowry carded a 69 which was his best of the week so far at the Andalucia Valderrama Masters and in so doing finished the day in a tie for 7th place.
 

Image from Getty Images 
 
Lowry now sits 6 shots off the pace set by host Sergio Garcia who added a 68 to his opening rounds of 66 and 71 for a one shot lead over Daniel Brooks with Joost Luiten one stroke further back.
 
Garcia continued his march towards a sixth European Tour victory after the local hero moved into the outright lead heading into the final day.
 
The reigning Masters Champion’s and 13-time European Tour winner had the home crowd in raptures and he moved one step closer to a third title of the season courtesy of a three under 68 to move to an eight under par total and said:
 
“It was pretty solid today. I missed a couple of shots here and there but other than that I got off to a great start with a couple of birdies, almost three birdies in a row. Then I unfortunately missed a couple of shots and made a couple of bogeys.”
 
“I stayed patient, made a good birdie on eight and almost a great birdie on nine. On the back nine, a couple of good saves and then a couple of nice birdies to finish with.”
 
“I’m going to go out there tomorrow and try to post another under par round and see what happens. Obviously Daniel Brooks shot seven under today, almost eight under, so good rounds are possible but they have to be spot-on. We know what Valderrama can do.”
 
“The way it’s playing maybe you can chase a low score, but everything has to be going your way and the couple of shots you miss, you have to get lucky with gaps or have good lies in the rough. It’s not easy but we’ll see.”
 
“It would be amazing to win, an amazing achievement. It’s still a long way to go tomorrow so I can’t get ahead of myself too much and hopefully I’ll have a good night and a nice rest and be ready for tomorrow, play well and see what happens.”
 
The 37 year-old tournament host, who was this week awarded with Honorary Life Membership of the European Tour as well as of Real Club Valderrama, was followed by throngs of Spanish fans at the sun-kissed venue and he did not disappoint, starting strongly with birdies at the second and third.
 
Scores:
205 S Garcia (Esp) 66 71 68, 
206 D Brooks (Eng) 70 72 64, 
207 J Luiten (Ned) 66 70 71, 
208 S Jamieson (Sco) 69 68 71, J Donaldson (Wal) 73 67 68, 
210 W Ormsby (Aus) 73 70 67, 
211 S Lowry (Irl) 72 70 69, J Suri (USA) 73 73 65, R Gouveia (Por) 69 70 72, A Hansen (Den) 70 70 71, R Rock (Eng) 67 70 74, 
212 M Manassero (Ita) 70 74 68, P Hanson (Swe) 69 75 68, M Wallace (Eng) 71 72 69, 
213 R Dinwiddie (Eng) 71 71 71, P Larrazábal (Esp) 67 73 73, B Ritthammer (Ger) 75 68 70, S Kjeldsen (Den) 72 71 70, A Johnston (Eng) 69 71 73, D Willett (Eng) 70 72 71, 
214 A Otaegui (Esp) 71 71 72, R Bland (Eng) 70 71 73, L Slattery (Eng) 72 71 71, S Soderberg (Swe) 73 69 72, N Bertasio (Ita) 74 71 69, P Waring (Eng) 71 72 71, J Fahrbring (Swe) 73 71 70, C Hanson (Eng) 72 74 68, R Jacquelin (Fra) 71 70 73, J Lima (Por) 72 72 70, R Finch (Eng) 69 73 72, P Harrington (Irl) 72 73 69, 
215 T Detry (Bel) 72 72 71, A Chesters (Eng) 72 74 69, O Fisher (Eng) 72 73 70, B Evans (Eng) 69 69 77, A Rai (Eng) 70 74 71, P Peterson (USA) 68 72 75, 
216 J Morrison (Eng) 69 74 73, F Fritsch (Ger) 71 75 70, A Plant (Eng) 70 72 74, M Kaymer (Ger) 70 72 74, J Walters (RSA) 71 74 71, 
217 A Wu (Chn) 72 71 74, D Perrier (Fra) 74 72 71, L Jensen (Den) 70 74 73, A Sullivan (Eng) 71 72 74, J Scrivener (Aus) 70 75 72, A Cañizares (Esp) 72 70 75, B Dredge (Wal) 73 73 71, R Paratore (Ita) 77 68 72, 
218 Z Lombard (RSA) 75 71 72, P Angles (Esp) 75 69 74, A Connelly (Can) 73 69 76, J Campillo (Esp) 73 73 72, 
220 C Pigem (Esp) 73 73 74, A Karlsson (Swe) 73 72 75, O Wilson (Eng) 69 70 81, 
221 S Crocker (USA) 73 73 75, A Romero (Arg) 71 75 75, E Molinari (Ita) 69 71 81, C Syme (Sco) 75 70 76, 
222 F Aguilar (Chi) 70 76 76, M Foster (Eng) 73 72 77, 
225 A Knappe (Ger) 74 72 79,