By Brian Keogh
Ballyclare’s Gareth Maybin believes he needs a low round and lots of help to win the €150,000 Challenge of Ireland at Glasson Golf Hotel and Country Club near Athlone.
The former North of Ireland champion, 26, fired a level par 72 to trail leader Magnus Carlsson of Sweden by six shots entering the final round.
Tied for 11th on two-under par, Maybin said: “I didn’t really play that great but I knocked it round and got up and down. It was good for my character to make pars the way I did, but I didn’t hit it well.
“To win from here I need a low one tomorrow and probably a bit of help. I took up membership of the Challenge Tour last week so that my money counts on the rankings.”
A regular on the US Hooters Tour, Maybin finished tied third in last week’s Wales Challenge in just his second Challenge Tour start and hopes to return to Europe to try for his card later this year.
He added: “My goal is to make top 10 and get into Scotland next week without having to use up one of my seven invites. But if I finished to 20 in the money list I get a European Tour card so there is a lot to play for.”
Leader Carlsson, 26, hit a 69 to lead by two shots on eight-under par from France’s Michael Lorenzo-Vera with four players a further stroke back.
Connemara's David Mortimer carded a 74 to join Justin Kehoe (75) in a share of 21st place with Colm Moriarty (72) and Mark Murphy (73) a shot further back on three-over.
Belfast’s Michael Hoey dropped three shots in his last six holes for a 73 that leaves him tied for 41st on four-over par.