Former champion David Mortimer will be bidding to continue his almost faultless bid for his second Irish PGA title when he takes a one stroke lead over the European Tour star Damien McGrane and Belfast’s Damian Mooney into the final round at Seapoint.

The 35-year old Galwayman claimed this title at Druids Heath four years ago but following his impressive win in the Glenmuir PGA Professional Championship at The Oxfordshire last month, he will become the first Irishman to win both titles in the same year if he hangs on for victory today.

“A win like that obviously bring a lot of confidence and I’ve only dropped two shots over the first three days so hopefully I can keep those mistakes of the card in the final round,” Mortimer said after a three under par 69 gave him a slender one shot lead over Mooney and McGrane on seven-under par.

“I played with Damien McGrane over the first two days and I learned a lot. He’s a great golfer who is very committed when he stands up to hit the shot. You can learn a bit form that - just stand up and hit it with no steering.”

McGrane also shot 69 to move to six under par but will be hoping for a better performance on the greens when he partners Mortimer in the final two-ball.

“I left plenty out there. I played excellent golf from tee to green but just had a bad day on the greens,” McGrane said. “I picked of the opportunities that came my way but it was a disapppointing day on the greens and I could have been four shots better.

“I still think there is a score in me but either I do it tomorrow or I don’t. I am looking to shoot scores out there and if I do that, everything else will take care of itself.”

Joint overnight leader with Neil Manchip on five-under, Mooney got to nine under par for the championship with seven holes to play but had to settle for a 71 after three late bogeys.

Mooney said: “I was nine under with a few to go but I’m delighted with the way I’ve been playing and I’m looking forward to tomorrow now. There will be a few nerves because this is a title I’d dearly love to win for a whole lot of reasons.”

Scot Manchip three-putted the last for a 73 to slip back to fourth place on four-under while Clontarf’s Eamonn Brady and St Margaret’s ‘s John Kelly shot best of the day 67s to lurk just four shots back on three under alongside Portsalon’s Seamus Clinton (68) and reigning Ulster champion Barrie Trainor (72).

Six-time winner Des Smyth double bogeyed the last for a 71 to finish on one-under par but European Tour player Shane Lowry had a double and a triple bogey in a front nine of 40 and eventually shot a 74 to slip out of contention on level par.

“I had two bad holes but other than that it was a decent day,” said Lowry whot drove out of bounds to triple bogey the fifth before following a birdie at the eighth with a three-putt double bogey from about 10 feet at the ninth.

“I hit a very poor tee shot on the fifth and had a lapse in concentration and a bit of frustration on the ninth but I’ll go out and give it a good rattle tomorrow and see where we finish up.” PGA Irish Championship, Seapoint GC (Par 72)
(Click here for final round tee-times)

After 54 holes:

209 D Mortimer (Fore Ireland) 70, 70, 69;

210 D McGrane (Unatt) 71, 70, 69; D Mooney (Unatt) 66, 73, 71;

212 N Manchip (GUI National Academy) 67, 72, 73;

213 E Brady (Clontarf) 71, 75, 67; J Kelly (St Margaret’s) 73, 73, 67; S Clinton (Portsalon) 72, 73, 68; B Trainor (Team Ireland) 70, 71, 72;

214 D McWilliams (Unatt) 71, 75, 68; B McElhinney (Team Ireland) 69, 76, 69;

215 D Smyth (Unatt) 69, 75, 71; M O’Sullivan (Ashbourne) 70, 76, 69;

216 G Robinson (St Helen’s Bay) 72, 72, 72; S Lowry (Esker Hills) 70, 72, 74;

217 M McDermott (Pure Golf Leopardstown) 71, 77, 69; J Dwyer (Ashbourne) 75, 72, 70; R Giles (Greenore) 71, 74, 72; G Dunlea (Adare Manor) 71, 74, 72; J Bolger (Kilkenny) 72, 70, 75;

218 J Quinlivan (Unatt) 75, 70, 73; D Higgins (Waterville) 71, 71, 76;

219 M Collins (Fore Ireland) 78, 73, 68; M Allan (Pure Golf Leopardstown) 74, 75, 70; Joe Murray (Hollystown) 78, 69, 72;

221 J Dignam (Slade Valley) 73, 75, 73;

222 S McMonagle (Edmonstown) 71, 80, 71;

223 L Bowler (Wexford) 74, 75, 74; E McLoughlin (Wicklow) 70, 79, 74; C Mallon (Narin & Portnoo) 72, 75, 76; D Ryan (Cahir Pk) 73, 74, 76;

224 M Twitchett (Hilton) 76, 75, 73; P Martin (Riverside Academy) 76, 75, 73; P Jones (Coollattin) 76, 75, 73; P Walton (Fore Ireland) 73, 77, 74; M Mulryan (Athenry) 72, 77, 75; C McNamara (Limerick) 71, 78, 75; R Creamer (Tuam) 71, 74, 79;

225 P Hanna (Lurgan) 74, 76, 75; N Howley (Balbriggan) 74, 74, 77; P Stevenson (Portadown) 76, 72, 77; P Devine (Royal Dublin) 70, 76, 79;

226 E Logue (Hilton) 76, 75, 75; C Moriarty (Donaghadee) 75, 73, 78;

227 L Walker (Dundalk) 74, 77, 76; T Higgins (Fore Ireland) 78, 73, 76; K Dorrian (Scrabo) 75, 76, 76; B McGovern (Headfort) 71, 78, 78; M O’Shea (Callan) 76, 73, 78; K Fahey (GUI National Academy) 71, 78, 78;

228 M Flanagan (Mt Temple) 76, 74, 78;

232 D Walker (Foxrock) 74, 77, 81;