Lone survivor: Holland chasing Chesters and Strin

Castle's Daniel Holland is just four shots off the lead entering Saturday's final round of the weather-shortened Portuguese Amateur Open Championship near Lisbon.

The Leinster interprovincial was the only Irish player to make the cut after the event was cut from 72 to 54 holes because of dense morning fog.

Montado Gofl Hotel and Resort during the fog delay. Picture courtesy  Jude O'Reilly

Montado Gofl Hotel and Resort during the fog delay. Picture courtesy Jude O'Reilly

Following a four-hour delay on Friday morning, a decision was taken to allow the players that had yet to finish their second rounds to post their scores and then cancel the third round, which was to be be played before the scheduled cut.

Instead, the cut was made after 36 holes and the top-40 and ties qualified for Saturday's final round on level par 144 or better.

It meant that Portmarnock's Geoff Lenehan (73-73) 146, Rosslare's Gary Collins (71-79) 150 and Ardee's Eugene Smith (74-79) 153 had missed out on the chance to improve.

But Holland can still challenge for a big finish after he returned the course with three holes to play and birdied the final hole, posting a bogey-free, three under 69 to get to four under par.

"I'm playing very solidly, keeping the ball in play off the tee and sacrificing a bit of yardage to make sure I hit greens in regulation," Holland said. "I just need the putter to warm up."

The former Mullingar Scratch Trophy winner is tied for 10th place, four shots behind Slovenia's Zan Luka Strin (67-69) and England's Ashley Chesters (70-66), the winner of the last two European Amateur Championships and the hot favourite for the title

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The leading pair are on eight under par 136 and one stroke ahead of a five-strong bunch — Danes Peter Launer Baek (70-67) and Christoffer Bring (65-72), Italian Paolo Ferraris (70-67) and Frenchman Edgar Catherine (67-70).