Padraig Harrington fired himself into contention once more after carding eight birdies on his way to a six-under-par round of 65 at the KLM Open.
Following his best performance on the European Tour for nearly two years on his last start in the Czech Republic, Harrington looks intent on going one better having bolted 15 places up the leaderboard into a share of 6th spot on 10-under-par.
The three-time Major Champion, whose last victory came at the Portugal Masters in October of 2016, was in contention right up until the end of the D+D REAL Czech Masters and narrowly missed out on adding to his 15 European Tour titles after a back nine birdie blitz from eventual champion Andrea Pavan.
Fresh from a two-week break, the Dubliner, who claimed second place outright in Prague, finds himself just three shots off Chris Wood’s lead with a round to go in Holland. And yet despite all that, the consummate professional admitted to his disappointment having finished such a spectacular move with a bogey six at the final hurdle.
“To finish like that is disappointing,” said Harrington of his bogey at the par-5 18th. “I hit a lovely shot in, straight down the pin, and as things were going well I tried to force the lob wedge in there. It’s funny when you shoot 65 and all you can think about is the bogey at the last.
“There were positives all the way through. The only green I missed today was on 18, so I gave myself plenty of chances for birdies and made a few early on which got me into it. Clearly the conditions were nice today and it was a little disappointing finishing at ten under because I could be five shots back at the end of the day.
“I know my game is pretty strong and we’ll see what comes out tomorrow but I know that overall I am going in the right direction.”
Chris Wood will take a one-shot lead into the final day after carding a six-under-par third round of 65 at The Dutch.
The Englishman started the day five shots behind overnight leader Ashun Wu, and after reaching the turn in 34 the three-time European Tour winner left himself with work to do to overtake Hideto Tanihara, who had taken the clubhouse lead following a course-record-equalling score of 63.
But following five birdies over his closing nine holes Wood soared into top spot and holds a one-shot advantage over Tanihara, Wu and countryman Jonathan Thomson with 18 holes to go in The Netherlands.
Tanihara’s bogey-free eight under par round was the second score which equalled the course record at The Dutch today, with Belgium’s Thomas Detry reeling off nine birdies en route to his 63 early on Day Three – South Africa’s Brandon Stone and home favourite Joost Luiten both shot 63 in 2016.