Eddie Cormack paid the price for a poor start and slipped six shots behind leader Moritz Lampert of Germany entering the final round of the Portuguese Amateur Open Championship at Montado near Lisbon.
The Galway international carded a one-over par 73 to finish the day in a four-way tie for third place on three under par as Lampert fired an albatross, an eagle and four birdies in a superb 65 to lead by one from Adrien Saddier of France on six under.
The German had two bogeys on his card but more than made up for them with his eagle three at the second and that albatross two at the 486m (531 yard), par-five seventh.
McCormack held a one-stroke lead overnight but he followed bogeys at the fourth and ninth with a triple bogey seven at the short, par four 10th to go five over for the day.
To his credit, he fought back brilliantly and played the final eight holes in four under par thanks to birdies at the 11th, 13th, 15th and 17th.
Knock’s Nicky Grant is the next best of the Irish, tied for 13th on level par after a rollercoaster 71 highlighted by an eagle two at the 357 yard 10th.
Exactly 40 players made the 54-hole cut on four over par, which meant an early end to the week for Eoin Arthurs (78, 6 over), Harry Diamond (73, 7 over), Rory McNamaa (74, 9 over) and Alan Dunbar (76, 11 over).