McGee gets his beauty sleep for Austrian push

Ruaidhri McGee, touring professional for Rosapenna Hotel & Golf Resort, pictured next to the Old Tom Morris statue at the Donegal resort.

Rosapenna touring pro Ruaidhiri McGee made sure he got an early night last night as he prepared to chase down an outside chance of victory in the Lyoness Open powered by Greenfinity in Austria.

The 23-year old Derry man, who is playing in just his first full European Tour event after earning his Challenge Tour stripes at the end of last year, carded birdies in a third round 69 to share 10th place with an impressive Simon Thornton (67) on four under par.

Ranked 915th in the world, he's seven strokes behind defending champion Joost Luiten, who set up a mouthwatering clash with local hero Bernd Wiesberger by shooting a third round 66 to take a two-shot lead into the final day at Diamond Country Club.

But McGee, who missed the cut in the dual ranking Madeira Islands Open but had a season's best finish of tied seventh on the Challenge Tour in Austria just two weeks ago, is not even thinking about winning.

"I've no plan for tomorrow," he said before heading to bed at 10pm. "I'll just do the usual and see how it goes. I've enjoyed the week so far, just talking it all in.

"My game is good and I've been hitting it solid."

A stroke ahead of the likes of Miguel Angel Jimenez, he added: "I am happy enough. I have played well for a few weeks on the Challenge Tour and got in here on my category. It's nice. It's nice to see your name up there with a few big names.

"Let's see if I can keep it up there now. The course has got a lot firmer so ideally you want to be hitting it straight and coming in from the fairways to these greens.

"I am just looking forward to it. I was happy to make the cut in the first one so I will just go out tomorrow and enjoy myself."

Thornton made four birdies in five holes in an outward 32 and then came back in one under, erasing a bogey at the 14th with birdies at the 16th and 17th for a 67.

The Newcastle resident is exempt this year after winning in France almost 12 months ago but he will be keen to move up from 118th in the Race to Dubai.

Michael Hoey shot 71, undone by a quadruple bogey eight at the 10th, that left him just outside the Top 20 on level par and on track for another decent finish.

As for Luiten, victory would create European Tour history, as no player has successfully defended the Lyoness Open powered by Greenfinity title and no Dutchman has won the same tournament in successive seasons.

Paraguay’s Fabrizio Zanotti is in third place on seven under par after a level par round of 72, whilst England’s Adam Gee posted a 70 to climb to fourth place on six under par.