News detail

3 September 2005

Omega European Masters - Third Round


El Nino hangs on to lead after a difficult and highly exciting round

Omega ambassador Sergio Garcia managed to hang on to the lead at the end of the third round after a nailbiting last few holes. The Spaniard had a shaky game with bogeys on the seventh (after he had to chip up from a footpath below the green) and the 14th and double bogeys on the fourth and 17th. Having barely given up his lead, he then produced a touch of magic on his approach to the 18th green to sink the ball with backspin for an eagle. After an eventful third round, the leader came home on level par to keep his overall score of 11 under.

Graeme Houston seemed to benefit from the challenge of playing with Garcia and managed to build up a two-shot advantage over the third round, leaving him only one shot off the lead after 54 holes. France's Jean Van de Velde, the third player in the leading trio, had a run of bad luck that saw his ball land in the water twice on the 18th green, taking him down to five under overall.

Previously, title holder Luke Donald had made a charge from the back, after getting off to a start that was consisent, though one that seemed unlikely to challenge the lead. With a string of pars over the first nine holes, Donald admitted himself that "nothing much happened for the first 15 holes". Then a firework seemed to explode in the game of last year's winner as he came home in style with five under on the last four holes, including an eagle on the 17th from a lob wedge 85 yards out. Donald will undoubtedly have much to talk about with Sergio Garcia as they dine together at tonight's Omega gala dinner.