European Senior Tour — Des Smyth fired an eagle and five birdies in a four under 68 to share second spot behind America’s Tim Thelen entering the final round of the Senior Open de Portugal at Vidago Palace.
One of Paul McGinley's five Ryder Cup vice-captains, Smyth is level on nine under par with Carol Mason (69) and Greg Turner (67), three shots behind Thelen, who defied a back problem to card an eight under par 64.
The former US PGA Club Professional champion almost pulled out after his back went into spasm on the second hole, but he went on to card nine birdies to reach 12 under par par.
Smyth bogeyed the 16th but eagled the 17th and would have started the final round in second place on his own but for missing from a couple of feet for a par on his final hole of the day.
“It leaves a bit of a sour taste in the mouth,” he said after posting a four under par 68. “I played some terrific golf and holed a lot of good putts but that miss on the last is what I’m going to remember when I’m thinking about the round this evening. I mishit it and it dived straight left on me. It never had a chance.”
Philip Walton (72) is tied 42nd on one over with Eddie Polland in 66th on 11 over after an 80.
eGolf Professional Tour — West Waterford's Seamus Power closed with a level par 72 to finish tied for 23rd in the eGolf Tour’s Island View Casino Championship in Gulfport, Mississippi on 12 under par.
North Carolina's Dustin Bray shot a four-under 68 a three-shot win on 24 under and the event’s $32,000 top prize.
Power continues to lead the eGolf Professional Tour's money list with $79,904 from 14 starts, including another $2,658 on Saturday.