Cormac Sharvin moved up one spot on the leaderboard after shooting a moving day 69 but the scoring out in front proved relentless in the third round of the D+D REAL Czech Challenge in Brno.
The Ardglass professional couldn’t quite conjure the fireworks of his Friday 65 but managed to find three birdies with just the one dropped shot in a decent showing this afternoon.
Sharvin sits in a share of 10th at seven-under par, but with the first four on the leaderboard shooting a combined 26-under on Saturday, the Irishman’s moving day run up the board was a jog by comparison.
Meanwhile, with Tramore’s Robin Dawson the only other Irish player to have made the cut, the towering Portmarnock Links pro didn’t disappoint today as he posted a bogey-free three-under par 69 to jump 27 places up the board into a share of 29th.
After claiming his best Challenge Tour finish last week with a share of 12th in Prague, the 23-year old will be hoping to better that result tomorrow with 10th place currently only four shots out of reach.
On Friday, The Island’s Paul McBride 73/71, Rosapenna’s Ruaidhri McGee 71/73 and Naas pro, Conor O’Rourke 76/73 all fell short of the even-par 36-hole cut mark.
There was no change at the top as Ross McGowan will take a two-shot lead into the final round, as he goes in search of his first professional win since 2015.
The Englishman, who clinched the Zambia Open on the Sunshine Tour four years ago, carded his third successive round of 66, five-under par, aiming to return to the winner’s circle with a victory at Kaskáda Golf Resort.
McGowan, a two-time European Challenge Tour winner in 2007, started the third round with a two-stroke advantage and continued his assault on the Brno course with a birdie on the first hole to maintain his momentum. With the chasing pack closing in, the 37-year-old gave himself breathing space with two gains before the turn on the seventh and eighth holes.
Daan Huizing, champion of the Jordan Mixed Open presented by Ayla, broke out from the chasing pack and moved level with the former Oceânico Developments Pro-Am Challenge and the Estoril Challenge de Portugal champion, but a bogey for the Dutchman and a fourth birdie of the day for McGowan on the 13th saw the lead remain at two shots.
McGowan, who claimed the 2009 Madrid Masters, picked up another shot on the par three 16th, en route to carding a bogey-free round of 66 to lead in Brno by two shots ahead of the final round.
“It would be good to get the win,” said McGowan. “I’ve won on a few smaller tours and won on the Sunshine Tour as well. Winning is winning. It means you’ve played the best out of everyone during the week.
“Today was the best I’ve played all week – my third consecutive round of 66. It was a very good first round in the wind, but I gave myself a lot of chances today and it could’ve been even better.
“I saw a couple of guys going low, but I stuck to my game plan and tried to hit as many greens as possible.
“I had to play a percentage game for the yardages into the greens. It was warmer and the ball was flying a lot earlier, which caused me to over club on the first three holes, so I was struggling, but I took a few yards off every shot and I got back to scoring well again.”
Huizing carded an eight-under par round of 63, recording the lowest round of the week to sit in second place two shots behind McGowan. While Portugal’s Ricardo Santos surged up the leaderboard with a round of 65 to sit a further two strokes back with Adrian Meronk of Poland a in fourth place on ten under par.
The final round of the D+D REAL Czech Challenge will get under way at 7.00am local time.
Full Scoring HERE