PGA Europro Tour — Royal County Down's Reeve Whitson closed with an eagle three for a seven under 66 to lie just a shot off the pace in the PDC Golf Championship at Studley Wood in Oxfordshire.
On a day when The Island's Kevin Le Blanc signed for a three-over 77 on his professional debut, Whitson followed an early bogey at the fourth with six birdies from the fifth to the 17th before his thrilling finish.
The former Spanish Amateur Open champion lies in a four-way tie for second behind England's Chris Lloyd, who shot an eight-under par 65.
It was a good day too for Jonny Caldwell (67) and Brian McElhinney (68) but while Le Blanc made four birdies and four bogeys, he also double-bogeyed his fourth and 18th holes.
Order of Merit leader Dermot McElroy is well down the leaderboard after a one-over 74.
The PDC Golf Championship, Studley Wood Golf Club (Par 73)
T2 Reeve Whitson Royal County Down Golf Club -7 66
T6 Jonathan Caldwell Clandeboye Golf Club -6 67
T11 Brian McElhinney North West Golf Club -5 68
T45 Niall Kearney The Royal Dublin -2 71
T62 Declan Loftus Unattached -1 72
T62 Brian Casey BLACKSTAR -1 72
T85 David Carey Unattached E 73
T104 Dermot McElroy Ballymena Golf Club +1 74
T117 Stephen Grant Mount Juliet +2 75
T127 Kevin Le Blanc Unattached +3 76